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Week 4: Ped Q: Time

This week's pedagogical question was raised by Rebeca M. --How might we begin to think critically about time as both an opportunity and a constraint? By this is meant both class time and the duration of the semester.

What is a valid way to spend time, given the goals and objectives of the course? Many people notice that discussions take up a lot of time, is that a valid way to accomplish course objectives and build knowledge?

Rebeca gave an example of having only 50 minutes to cover an immense amount of material with complicated subject matter. She had students divide up into small groups and condense the material of three theorists down to one crystallized sentence for each that everyone in the small group could agree to. This method forced the students to discuss the material, summarize the arguments, synthesize the material, and compare the theories, all within a short time.

Other people in our class offered suggestions for condensing difficult material and holding students accountable for it. One suggestion was to have a short quiz on the material for comprehension. Another suggestion was that as instructors we may have to at times accept that not every student will master all the material presented and they may come back to it at some point down the line and have another chance to digest what was difficult the first time around.