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Teaching Visits Fall 2014 (Archived)

The Teaching Visits program is an important way by which the CFT promotes collaborative inquiry and reflection, providing case-based opportunities for Vanderbilt teachers to consider choices they have when constructing their classes. A small group of visitors observes a host’s class on a selected day and then engages in an hour of conversation about the instructor’s strategies.  These visits provide fodder for the critical reflection so essential to the ongoing process of improving teaching, and thus are among our most valuable and helpful events. They are great opportunities for Vanderbilt teachers to observe directly and then discuss various forms of teaching across the disciplines, building collegiality and expertise around inquiries into teaching and learning.

This fall, each of our Teaching Visits will touch on the theme of “Teaching, Difference, and Power” that the CFT is exploring this year, either through direct teaching about issues of difference and power, thoughtful incorporation of mechanisms to create inclusive classrooms, or discussions of how to translate lessons from efforts to broaden participation into classroom practice.

We offer two types of Teaching Visits:

  1. Teaching Visits for faculty, in which instructors open their classes to a small group of their colleagues on a selected day, and
  2. Teaching Visits for CiCT participants, in which instructors open their classes to a small group of graduate students and post-docs who are completing the CFT’s Certificate in College Teaching.

If you are interested in hosting a Teaching Visit or have any other questions about the program, please contact the CFT’s Cynthia Brame.

Teaching Visits for Faculty – Fall 2014

Larry Isaac, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Sociology

SOC 216: Change and Social Movements in the Sixties

Larry Isaac is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Sociology and editor of the American Sociological Review. In SOC 216, he guides upper level undergraduates toward a greater understanding of social movements in the 1960s. During the teaching visit, Larry’s students will be considering the Nashville Civil Rights movement, which provides a vivid depiction of racial difference under the “Jim Crow” regime of racial segregation, subordination, and exploitation and introduces the dangerous, high-risk activism undertaken by Nashville students that served as a model for the rest of the Southern civil rights movement. In the post-visit discussion, we will discuss how Larry’s combination of discussion, lecture, and documentary film footage provides a model of how to approach teaching issues of difference and power.

Date: September 2, 2014
Time: 11:00-1:15 (class, 11:00-12:15; discussion, 12:15-1:15)
Class location: Calhoun 218
Discussion location: Garland 220H
Facilitator: Joe Bandy

Faculty of Any Rank REGISTER NOW

 

William H. Robinson, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering

EECE 277: FPGA Design

William H. Robinson is an associate professor and associate department chair of Electrical Engineering as well as a recent recipient of an NSF award to examine the critical factors that leave African Americans as one of the most underrepresented racial groups in engineering faculty positions. In EECE 277, he helps students develop the skills and tools they will need to design, simulate, build and test microelectronic systems that can be adapted to a variety of needs. During the teaching visit, students will be responding to the second in a series of design challenges, working with each other and William to troubleshoot the solutions they develop. In the post-class discussion, we will discuss the scaffolding that William puts in place to help all of his students develop the skills they need to complete a team-based final project as well as ways in which his research on broadening participation may inform teaching practices.

Date: September 3, 2014
Time: 10:10-12:00 (class, 10:10-11:00; discussion, 11:00-12:00
Class location: Featheringhill 244
Discussion location: Featheringhill 349
Facilitator: Cynthia Brame

Faculty of Any Rank REGISTER NOW

 

Keivan Stassun, Professor Physics and Astronomy

ASTR 205: Principles of Astrophysics

Keivan Stassun is a professor of astronomy and the co-director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt MA-to-PhD Bridge program. In ASTR 205, Keivan Stassun guides upper level undergraduates toward a greater understanding of the origin and evolution of matter as well as the tools and methods of astrophysics. Keivan describes his approach in this class as fairly traditional, using mostly a “chalk talk” approach. In the post-class discussion, we will consider the teaching choices Keivan makes in this course as well as approaches he uses to make his classroom more inclusive. In addition, we will discuss lessons from the Bridge program that can be translated to the undergraduate experience.

Date: October 7, 2014
Time: 2:35-4:50 (class, 2:35-3:50; discussion, 3:50-4:50)
Class location: Stevenson Center 6616
Discussion location: Stevenson Center 6614
Facilitator: Cynthia Brame

Faculty of Any Rank REGISTER NOW

Ifeoma Nwankwo, Associate Professor of English

ENGL 271: Caribbean Literature

Ifeoma Nwankwo is an associate professor of English and founding director of Voices from our AmericaTM, an international public scholarship project linking academic research, K-12 curriculum development, and community engagement. In ENGL 271, Ifeoma brings together literature, film and music produced by Caribbean descended communities in the U.S., Canada, England and Panama to help her students consider how Caribbean migrants construct definitions of home and identity in shifting societal infrastructures. In the post-visit discussion, we will discuss how Ifeoma’s teaching choices help her students grapple with the challenging concepts of societally-defined identity and power.

Date: September 25, 2014
Time: 1:10-3:25 (class, 1:10-2:25; discussion, 2:25-3:25)
Class location: Calhoun 423
Discussion location: Duncan Library in Benson Hall
Facilitator: Nancy Chick

Faculty of Any Rank REGISTER NOW

 

To register for these visits:

  • Click the “register now” link in the descriptions above.
  • Complete the registration information.
  • When the visit approaches, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes a syllabus and a discussion guide.
  • If you register but find that you are unable to attend, please let us know. Please be mindful that space is limited.




Teaching Visits for CiCT Participants

 

The CFT thanks the following faculty members for volunteering their time and opening their classrooms to the participants of the Certificate in College Teaching.

Nancy Chick, Senior Lecturer in English

WGS 301: Gender and Sexuality: Feminist Approaches

Nancy Chick is an assistant director at the Center for Teaching and affiliated faculty in the English Department and Women and Gender Studies Program.  WGS 301 is the graduate proseminar focusing on the field, methods, and theories of WGS and the first course required for the WGS Certificate. It’s designed to orient graduate students to careers in or informed by WGS, encouraging us to ask, “How do gender and sexuality inform our institutions of higher education, our disciplines, our specific areas of study, our professional identities, and our professional environments?” The Teaching Visits fall as we begin to dig into some specific theories and debates (e.g., Luce Irigaray, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Gloria Anzaldúa, Patricia Hill Collins, Judith Butler, & Donna Haraway). In the discussion after the visit, we’ll talk about teaching content that confronts difference and power.

Two visits are available:

Date: September 9, 2014
Time: 5:00-7:00 (class, 5:00-6:00; discussion, 6:00-7:00)
Class location: Buttrick 313
Discussion location: Buttrick 313
Facilitator: Ben Galina

Date: September 16, 2014
Time: 5:00-7:00 (class, 5:00-6:00; discussion, 6:00-7:00)
Class location: Buttrick 313
Discussion location: Buttrick 313
Facilitator: Ben Galina

This teaching visit is open only to participants of the Certificate in College Teaching Program

Derek Bruff, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

Math 115F – Cryptography: The History and Mathematics of Codes and Ciphers

Derek Bruff is the director of the Center for Teaching and a senior lecturer in Mathematics.  His fall course, MATH 115F, is a first-year writing seminar on cryptography that combines pure mathematics, puzzle solving, history, current events, and writing. pher, once thought to be unbreakable.  Those interested in approaches to teaching quantitative problem solving might find this class session interesting.

Two visits are available:

On September 26, Derek’s students will learn how to break the Vigenère cipher, once thought to be unbreakable.  Those interested in approaches to teaching quantitative problem solving might find this class session interesting.

Date: September 26, 2014
Time: 12:10-2:00 (class, 12:10-1:00; discussion, 1:00-2:00)
Class location: Stevenson Center 1117
Discussion location:  TBA
Facilitator: TBA

On September 29, Derek’s students will engage in a visual mapping activity focused on Cory Doctor’s book Little Brother, which explores the tension between national security and individual privacy.  Those interested in seeing a mathematician teach a novel might want to attend this session.

Date: September  29, 2014
12:10-2:00 (class, 12:10-1:00; discussion, 1:00-2:00)
Class location: Stevenson Center 1117
Discussion location:  TBA
Facilitator: Christian Ehret

This teaching visit is open only to participants of the Certificate in College Teaching Program

Cynthia J. Brame, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences

BSCI 220: Biochemistry

Cynthia Brame is a senior lecturer in the Biological Sciences department and an assistant director at the Center for Teaching. In BSCI 220, Cynthia helps students consider how metabolic pathways use common chemical reactions to allow organisms to derive energy from highly varied food sources—and how these food sources in turn can lead to regulation of various metabolic pathways in ways that are relevant to disease states. The class will consist of lecture interspersed with concept questions and small group interactions. In the post-class discussion, we will consider strategies Cynthia uses to promote an inclusive classroom.


Two visits are available:

Date: October 10, 2014
Time: 2:10-4:00 (class, 2:10-3:00; discussion, 3:00-4:00)
Class location: Stevenson Center 4309
Discussion location: MRBIII 2210 (Mosig Conference Room)
Facilitator: Ben Galina

Date: October 20, 2014
Time: 2:10-4:00 (class, 2:10-3:00; discussion, 3:00-4:00)
Class location: Stevenson Center 4309
Discussion location: MRBIII 2210 (Mosig Conference Room)
Facilitator: Dani Picard

This teaching visit is open only to participants of the Certificate in College Teaching Program