I believe that students learn best when they can engage with the material and connect it to their experiences. I believe that they retain more information when they are active participants in the learning process – when learning is more a process of discovery then being fed facts. I want my students to actively, and critically think about the underlying concepts and assumptions. This is what I try to achieve when I design my lessons.
Below are a couple of example lesson plans.
- Last semester (Spring 2015), I took a discussion section for my Intermediate Macro course and covered the history of the Great Recession. I connected each major event to a topic we covered in class and helped students both understand the material and connect it to well-known events with which they had personal experience. Isolated facts (just ‘dots’), such as the high unemployment in 2009 and the ISLM framework, came together to create a framework for understanding the world and their place in it, the ‘picture’, rather than simply remaining isolated examples pulled from a seemingly unrelated textbook. While it does not quite do my exposition justice, here are my lecture notes along with the slides.
- In the fall of 2015 I ran a workshop through Cornell’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) on how to deal with challenging classroom situations. The workshop was very well received with all the attendees either agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statements that it was valuable, and they would attend it again, and the learning objectives were achieved.
- In the fall of 2015 as part of Cornell’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) university wide teaching conference I taught a workshop on holding effective office hours. The workshop was very well received with all the attendees either agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statements that it was valuable, and they would attend it again.