Monday, August 24, 2009

Teaching Naked

Wow!  I've been mulling over the idea of teaching naked, the last couple of days since I first saw this posting on Dean Sharski's blog.  My initial thoughts were wait a second.  Content is supposed to be what we're all about in schools.  Then Jose Bowen turned up again on the NPR all tech considered podcast, and I started to more fully understand his ideas about turning learning around.  He contends taht students come to class without any understanding of the subject, listen to a lecture, study like crazy and try to show that they understand.  Instead, he proposes a model where students listen to the lecture ahead of class, take a quiz or some other assessment to show that they listened to the material, and then discuss and explore the content in class.  As he states in the video above, most lectures last for 48 minutes and then have 2 minutes of questions, this way he can offer the same content and fifty minutes of questions.  To me these are powerful ideas.  I've already shared them with our high school faculty.  Several of the teachers are interested in giving it a try.

Then I drilled into Jose Bowen's site a little and found a set of podcasts that serve as the listening ahead of class for hs hstory of jazz course.  I listened to the bop and hard bop podcasts. I was struck by the fact that at the beginning of this podcast, he launches in right away noting that any categories are provisional, and this is just one way to organize and categorize the whole movement of Hard Bop.  Reminded me right away of David Weinberger and Everything is Miscellaneous. Very interesting ideas.  Even Bowen's old courses at Georgetown look like they built on diverse ideas. Anyone who can incorporate Wagner into a course on politics and culture has a lot of interesting thoughts.

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