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Teaching is generally (and unfortunately) an isolated activity.  We find it hard to make the space to reflect on teaching together, partly because of more pressing matters, partly because it is difficult to find a place and time to meet in a group, and – most discouraging of all – partly because we are fearful of sharing our limits and frustrations as teachers.  To address this, the Center sponsors semester-long Teaching Circles.

Teaching Circles are small groups of faculty from various disciplines who come together to discuss matters related to teaching and learning.  Members meet every other week so are able to dive deeply into a topic as well as develop relationships among each other.  The discussion is centered around one focal book (provided free of cost to participants) that guides the conversation.  Members serve as informal “discussion leaders” each week but the conversation is typically guided by the group at large.

We always accept suggestions for future teaching and learning books to read!

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Spring 2018 Teaching Circles

Online Teaching and Learning

Do you have to prep a new online course that you have never done before? Have you been teaching an online course for many years and feel like it needs to be “shaken up” a bit? Would you like to add an online component to a face-to-face class you currently teach? This circle is designed to assist those interested in developing new online courses and/or improving existing courses. Participants in this program will read and discuss “The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Teaching Online Courses” (provided free of cost to participants) and will work toward the development or improvement of their courses. After working through this circle, you will have developed a plan for your new and/or improved course! This circle will benefit both new and seasoned faculty members.

The schedule for this circle is:

  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, April 4, 2018 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:00 – 12:00

Please email Nick Salter nsalter@ramapo.edu to sign up!

Ramapo

Navigating the National Political Climate in the Classroom

This teaching circle examines strategies for addressing the current national political climate as it manifests in the college classroom.  Whether or not faculty are teaching courses that explicitly address national politics, elements of this climate can be seen in the classroom: the fact that the U.S. is highly ideologically divided; the emboldening of biases and prejudices; and the confusion over the accuracy of information about social issues, to name a few.  In this circle, we will spend each week on different challenges to teaching in this context and will identify ways to address them. Examples of topics include: 1)  How can faculty set boundaries between reasonable debate and disrespect? 2) What are best practices in handling inflammatory or bigoted comments?; and 3) How do faculty members maintain their own self care in navigating their responsibilities as teacher, while at the same time also being personally impacted by this national climate?

The schedule for this circle is:

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00

Please email Nick Salter nsalter@ramapo.edu to sign up!

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Environmental Humanities

The Faculty Resource Center (with the Center For Sustainability and Literature convening group) would like to invite you to join a Teaching Circle devoted to the Environmental Humanities. We would like this to be a forum to share ideas and developments on the environmental challenges of our times and how we could further this in our classrooms.

This Spring, we will read Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (this conversation is a continuation from last fall, although new members are of course welcome), and Amitav Ghosh’s Hungry Tide.  For more information about the books, see:

Rob Nixon (2013). Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Harvard University Press.
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674072343

Amitav Ghosh (2004). The Hungry Tide. Harper Collins.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/jun/19/featuresreviews.guardianreview9

Participants will be given free copies of these books.  We welcome faculty from all disciplines!

The schedule for this circle is:

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 10:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:30 – 11:30

Please email the FRC Director Nick Salter nsalter@ramapo.edu with your interest in joining the group.

Ramapo