Jason’s Reflection on 4/13 class

Posted by on April 14, 2010 
Filed under Reflections

I enjoyed this week’s class because it opened my eyes to two new ideas.  Both of these ideas I understood somewhat before this discussion, but I now feel that I grasp both on a deeper level.

The first idea came from Carrie Ann’s article.  This is the idea that while all disciplines differ in there pursuit of SoTL research, we also have a ton of similarities.  The discussion of qualitative and quantitative research could have taken place in one of my sociology specific courses.  It was interesting to see that the music department and the sociology department are having some of the same methodological discussions (limitations of traditional quantitative research), coming to similar conclusions (a move to incorporate qualitative methods or develop new methods altogether),  and feeling constrained by the same external pressures (the higher status often associated with quantitative research).

The second idea that become more clear to me was the overpowering influence of expanding class sizes.  Before being exposed to CTCH course I would have believed that large class sizes affect k-12 much more than college.  College is lecture based, and for the most part it is “on the student” to put in the effort to succeed.  This biased and false assumption was primarily based on my ability to navigate my poorly structured college experience, where I relied primarily on teaching myself though individual study sessions and reading.  Since this “worked” for me, it should work for everyone, right?  Now as a teacher, I see exactly how problematic large classes are.  They severely limit my ability to bring in students that are not able to succeed in the traditional format of lecture, read, lecture, read, and repeat.  The only solution I see to larger class sizes is more teachers, which has a huge financial barrier to overcome.  Until that solution becomes a reality, we may have to adapt, develop, and accept less than ideal new techniques that take the reality of larger class sizes into account.


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