Monday 15 July 2013

1: The Beginning of New Academic Year, Classroom Discussion & the Boardwork

Academic Year 2013-14:
Post 1: Blending Teaching Methods: 
From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side

What is Literature? (Classroom discussion chalked out on green board
It was fairly good beginning (11 July 2013). The new students are quite impressive. In just two days of interaction, I am impressed. They have 'hyper'-actively participated in the classroom discussion. In normal condition, in the first week, the questions bubbled in the classroom do not exist longer. They burst to die in their infancy. Instead, the questions were tenderly nestled and blown wider in size and higher in the air. See, the image of the board-work. The essence of discussion in chalked out on the green board. 

The Waste Land: An Introduction

 The classes for Semester 3 students commenced quite earlier (24 June 2013). We have a small group of students in this class. Not all are always keen to discuss but a few of them lead the discussion to its destination. We discussed historical, social and economical background of the Twentieth Century English Literature. It was rather an oral discussion with a rare use of board work, and I forgot to take photographs of those interactions. Here are a few images of the discussion on T.S. Eliot's poem 'The Waste Land'. 
The Waste Land: Part 2: A Game of Chess
The students were quite active in responding to the questions chalked on the board. Though, the poem is a puzzle which requires a bunch of keys to unlock it. No single master key can unlock the meaning of 'The Waste Land'. After listening the recitation of the poem, it seems that the students were more participative. The number of students's interaction increased on second day. Tomorrow, we are going to continue with Part III: The Fire Sermon and I expect passionate participation from the students.
The photographs are taken on mobile phone. The Interactive White Boards (IWB) can be better option for sharing teacher's board work with students. In absence of such hi-end technology, even a simple phone with camera features can help in capturing the images of board work.
Normally, I do not use board work a lot in the classroom. I would prefer to have blank PowerPoint screen and pen or simple Word Document to type students interaction. This year, I am planning to blend this (s)age old traditional chalk-and-talk method with blog etc web 2.0 tools. Let's see, how long I can sustain this . . .
(The Department of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University - Gujarat, India)

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