Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New Frontiers in Teaching Research

This semester, I have taught in a different way than ever before. Tottering through personal crises, I have been more up-front about my opinions and history than I ever have with my students. I have not yet gotten the official student feedback forms, but I did get informal comments from students, and it has been very positive.

I did not just tell war stories, but I did talk about how dismayed I felt when I first tried to do legal research. I talked about the struggles I went through trying to learn how to organize myself, or how to choose where to begin or know when to stop. The students asked how I learned better, and we talked about that. It actually was helpful to both them and me to kind of step through the processes that brought be to proficiency and comfort. It's easy to forget, and it's easy to somehow present yourself as if you were born knowing all this stuff. It's a very dismaying thing to a student.

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