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Reflections on Introduction to African American Studies (2)

Fall 2013

· teaching,African American,Syracuse University

Fall 2013, I was assigned to Dr. Kishi Animashaun-Ducre, to aid in the teaching of “Introduction to African American Studies”. Having done this the prior year, I was more secure in my knowledge base for the course and delivery. Using the same tools and methods from the year before, only a few changes were introduced to the course content.

I employed the use of randomly assigned short answer questions with the goal of evaluating students, and organized class discussions. Students had the opportunity to develop their responses and share with the class. Additionally, I was able to gauge participation through the reading of responses that students did not vocalize, thus providing more adequate feedback for student progress reports. While this added to my workload, I was able to create student work profiles.

Following the previous year, I was also more cognizant of the time constraints, and was better prepared for structuring short but meaningful discussions. While I still believe that there should be more than the basic regurgitation of information, I found the changes made to my organization of the recitation sessions enabled me to successfully complete tasks and motivate students to think about their writing. In the end, I believe my students’ progress was very good, in comparison with my first semester. I do not believe I would change much about the syllabus. Students wanted to learn more and that is a good goal for pedagogy.