Geoff Connors is our first guest from the Yale School of Medicine. He’s an assistant professor of pulmonology and teaches medical students how to reason and make decisions. He also teaches a class called “Teaching Teachers” through the Med School’s Teaching and Learning Center (not to be confused with the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning). In this episode Geoff explains how differently (and not so differently) education works in his world.
On this episode we are honored to talk to Professor of Psychology and President of Yale University, Peter Salovey. While President Salovey has held just about every high level position in the administration, he has also been one of Yale’s most popular lecturers and in fact holds the record for largest lecture class ever taught at Yale with 1,052 students. During our conversation he tells us about that class (Psychology and the Law), teaching Intro Psych, his vision for the future of undergraduate education at Yale, and a whole lot more.
Noah Finkelstein has a BS in Math from Yale and a Phd in Applied Physics from Princeton. He started teaching physics and studying how to teach physics during post-docs at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley. Now, he teaches physics and is a director at University of Colorado’s Center for STEM Learning, and he thinks hard about how to induce and sustain improvements in teaching across the university. In our wide ranging conversation, Noah shares his deep insights into what happens and what should happen in the classroom and at the institutional level. This is a good one.
In this episode we’re joined by Michael Honsberger, neuroscientist and STEM project manager for the Yale Young Global Scholars program. Michael has a background studying memory including a PhD in behavioral neuroscience and a postdoc in Yale’s Division of Molecular Psychiatry. He talks to us about how we can use knowledge of how the brain works to become better teachers.
I have a friend who is an amazing teacher. His students rave about his classes, and when I first started teaching statistical methods, he gave me terrific advice, nearly all of which I’ve followed. A few weeks ago I ran into him at a work dinner, and he said something that shocked me: He doesn’t read his course evaluations anymore.
People vary a lot in the quantity and quality of email they receive. Depending on the time of year, I get between fifty and a few hundred messages per day. Some of it requires a timely response and some is reference material that I want or need to read eventually. Some mail can be quickly read and addressed, while other messages require a fair bit of time and effort. I’ve battled my mail with a range of strategies over the years, but have recently found a combination that work pretty well. I share them here in hopes of helping others move toward email sanity.
This episode is extra-special as we’re joined not by any faculty, but instead by Maia Eliscovich-Sigal and Miguel Goncalves. Maia is a senior economics major here at Yale and Miguel is a senior global affairs major. They give us the students’ perspective on their classes and tell us what they find works and doesn’t work when professors lecture, organize discussions, and use technology.