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Hi Folks,

There are still plenty of seats in the January 2nd pedagogy and course
design workshop I am holding in Philadelphia. It is designed for
graduate students, new teachers, and anyone who hasn't been exposed to
key pedagogy and course design techniques.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Geoff Schneider
Professor of Economics
Director, Bucknell University Teaching & Learning Center
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Advanced Pedagogy and Course Design Workshop

Cutting Edge Teaching Techniques and Strategies for Pluralistic Economists

Facilitator: Geoffrey Schneider, Professor of Economics, Director of
Bucknell University Teaching & Learning Center

Date: Monday, January 2, 2014, 11:00am-5:00pm

Location: La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA

Registration Fee: $50. To register, send your name, contact
information, and a check for $50 payable to:

Teaching and Learning Center; Bertrand Library; Bucknell University; 1
Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA  17837

Note that you must submit the $50 registration fee to be guaranteed a
spot in the workshop. Lunch, snacks and coffee are included
in the registration fee.

Scholarships: Scholarships are available for graduate students and for
untenured faculty who do not have financial assistance to attend the
workshop. Scholarships in the amount of $125 are available to cover
workshop registration and expenses related to attending the workshop
(lodging, travel). These scholarships are being provided by heterodox
organizations, including URPE, AFEE, AFIT, and ASE, to their members.
A few scholarships are available to unaffiliated graduate students
thanks to support from the Heterodox Economics Newsletter. To apply
for a scholarship, please register for the workshop and include in
your submission a letter of application including your name, email
address, reason for requesting a scholarship, employment status (year
in graduate school and expected date of completion, or year and
location of employment) and whether or not you are a member of any of
the heterodox associations listed above. Preference will be given to
graduate students in their last two years of graduate school and
visiting or untenured professors. Note that those receiving a
scholarship will receive a check for $125 upon completion of the
workshop, but no funds will be available prior to that point.

Overview: Most heterodox economists today end up working at
teaching-oriented institutions. Thus, our success in the academy often
depends significantly on our ability to teach successfully. This
workshop is structured for heterodox graduate students and new faculty
to give them a comprehensive background in advanced pedagogical
techniques and strategies that will help them succeed in the
classroom. Drawing on the latest pedagogical research, the workshop
will cover constructing and meeting learning objectives, syllabus
design, assessment, models for pluralistic teaching, active and
collaborative learning techniques, and teaching controversial topics.

10:30-11:00  Check in; Pick up materials; Initial workshop activity

I. Course design (11:00)

Designing first day activities: establishing Customs, Connections,
Community and Curiosity

The first day of class sets the tone for the whole semester, and it is
an opportunity to begin building the kind of classroom environment
that you want. Participants will engage in a group activity modeling
good first day activities, discuss best practices, and work on
constructing their own activity that connects with their course
material and that facilitates productive classroom interactions.

Constructing sophisticated, assessable learning objectives for an
engaging, well-organized course

Often the first thing that tenure and job search committees look at is
your syllabus and its learning objectives. A well-organized course
contains a coherent focus with sophisticated course-level learning
objectives. Learning objectives should include the big ideas of the
course, they should define what students should learn to do (e.g.,
solve a particular type of problem; understand the economic issues in
a newspaper) and at what depth students should understand things.  A
course should also be broken down into objectives for major
assignments which can be assessed. Participants will hear about best
practices in constructing learning objectives and will construct some
for their courses.

Course rules vs. a Welcoming Syllabus

We are often told that a syllabus is our “contract” with the students.
If we don’t have an iron-clad syllabus, we open ourselves up to
students taking advantage of us. But many syllabi are lifeless and
hectoring, written for the few bad apples instead of the many good
students. We’ll work on creating a welcoming syllabus that also
protects us from problem students. We’ll also consider designing a
syllabus that serves as a useful study guide for students. This is
important for pedagogical purposes and because constructing a
welcoming syllabus can be quite useful for the job market and for the
tenure process.

Meeting learning objectives: exams, papers and assignments that
facilitate learning

We all use exams, papers, assignments and other techniques for
assessing how well students meet our learning objectives, but they can
be dry and formulaic. We will work on constructing exams and
assignments that actually help students learn material, and design
rubrics and test blueprints to facilitate learning, to make grading
easier and more systematic, and to satisfy departmental assessment
requirements.

Models for pluralistic teaching and teaching controversial topics

Teaching heterodox material in the classroom can be complicated in
that we sometimes face hostile colleagues or students. There are
different methods for teaching heterodox economics, such as a
heterodox-focused course, a multi-paradigmatic approach, or an
implicitly pluralistic approach to the subject matter. Each of these
comes with different opportunities and challenges. We will discuss the
various approaches and determine which one suits our teaching
environment and our personal style. We will also explore some classic
strategies for teaching material that may seem quite controversial to
many students. It is important for heterodox economists to frame
material so that they are seen as open-minded and fair.

II. Roundtable: Teaching environments facing pluralistic economists
(2:00, over lunch)

Invited guest speakers talk about their experiences teaching heterodox
economics. Panelists will include: Paddy Quick, St. Francis College,
and others.

Roundtable participants will offer advice for new teachers of
heterodox economics. They will discuss the challenges they have faced
as teachers, both from colleagues and from students, and share some of
their most effective teaching strategies. After the panelists finish
brief presentations, we will have an open discussion.

III. Classroom interactions (3:00)

Active Learning Techniques for Economics Classes

At teaching institutions today, the focus is on active,
student-centered learning. We will focus on some classic active
learning techniques to make the classroom more lively and to get
students more engaged in the course material.

Collaborative Learning Exercises for Economics Classes

Some of the most exciting and innovative classroom exercises involve
collaborative learning. During this part of the workshop, participants
will learn about and experience collaborative learning exercises
designed for use in economics classes. They will begin adapting some
cutting edge collaborative learning techniques for their own classes.

5:00 Wrap Up and Workshop Evaluation


About the workshop leader: Geoffrey Schneider received a BA from
Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He is currently a Professor of Economics and
Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Bucknell University.
He has co-authored two textbooks, Introduction to Political Economy
and Economics: A Tool for Critically Understanding Society, and
authored or co-authored articles in the Journal of Economic Issues,
The Review of Social Economy, The Review of Radical Political
Economics, The Forum for Social Economics, and Feminist Economics.  He
is an award-winning teacher, author of several articles on pedagogy,
and guest editor of two special issues of the Forum for Social
Economics on Teaching Heterodox Economics.