Every spring admitted students flood Yale’s campus for Bulldog Days: A three day event where they check out the scene and figure out if Yale is a good fit for them. One of the key components is attending real Yale classes with current Yale students. Scott Strobel, deputy provost for teaching and learning, has always been a little jealous of these incoming students, and one of his first initiatives as deputy provost has been to create Faculty Bulldog Days, a week when faculty open their classrooms up to their colleagues.
The world you live in is your own invention. You can wake up in the morning and hate the cold, and worry you won’t get your work done. Or you can choose to revel in the world’s possibilities. Seize the day! Don’t get bogged down striving for wealth, fame, or power! Spend your time making people smile!
In this episode we talk with Jenny Frederick, the Executive Director of Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She tells us about her own formative experiences in the classroom, and how the new center brings together several existing organizations on campus to help students, train beginning teachers, and support established faculty.
[McKee was] rambling and nervous in class. Unclear and rushed when teaching math.
As I’m sure is true at most colleges and universities, the faculty at Yale are fiercely independent. Many of them chose their careers specifically so that they could have complete intellectual freedom and maximum control over what they do. Departments have to be very careful when they poke around in a professor’s classroom, but the fact is that every once in a while, things can go very wrong. Usually departments hear whispers from students during the semester but wait until the end to see the vitriol in the student evaluations. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Doug Robertson teaches third grade in Southern Oregon. He’s also known as “the weird teacher,” a name given to him by some kindergarteners in his school when they thought he wasn’t listening. Doug wears this title with pride on his web site, in his book, on his videos, on Twitter, and whenever he’s talking about what he does. The other day as I listened to Sam Rangel interview the weird teacher on the amazing Amazing Teacher podcast I was struck by just how much a great third grade classroom has in common with a great undergraduate seminar.
About an hour ago I attended a talk by Marco Molinaro that was so inspiring I had to share about it right away. Dr. Molinaro is the director of an organization at UC Davis (the iAMSTEM Hub) that uses research and analytics to improve the quality of undergraduate education at the university. You might have read the recent New York Times article on innovation in STEM teaching at Davis–Dr. Molinaro’s shop had a lot to do with that innovation.