All Posts Tagged With: "creativity"
Darren Dahl earns a 3M National Teaching Fellowship
Darren Dahl, a professor and associate dean of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, is a 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient for 2013. Maclean’s On Campus is profiling all 10 in the coming weeks.
“I don’t use technology,” says University of British Columbia professor Darren Dahl of his creativity course. “Technology is great for some topics, but I can engage at a much higher level without it.”
To show he’s serious, any student who opens his or her computer or whose phone rings during class must donate $100 to charity. His own phone once went off. “Boom. $100 in the pot,” he says.
It keeps students focused on discussions that Dahl referees. It also leaves time for plenty of games. His focus on keeping students engaged is one of the reasons he was awarded one of 10 prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowships for 2013.
Prof. Pettigrew tells what his A+ students have in common
A blogger at Inside Higher Ed has posed a fascinating question: what is an ideal student?
Strictly speaking, there could not possibly be an ideal student any more than there could be perfect person. But the question is worth thinking about if you care about education.
I wouldn’t want to repeat the answers already on offer, so let me move the question out of the abstract just a bit and ask a similar question: what have my very best students had in common?
To answer this question, I turned to a list I keep affixed to my filing cabinet in my office under a magnet that says “ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS.” It shows all the students who have earned grades of A+ in my courses. Readers of this blog may surmise from my curmudgeonly persona that the list is not huge. In fact, there are sixteen names.
From that list I selected the five who seemed most memorable for their abilities and achievements. What did they have in common? Many things, of course, some of which were also suggested in the IHE piece: curiosity, open-mindedness, willingness to be engaged. Intelligence, of course, and a capacity for hard work, obviously. But three other qualities stand out, too:
- 1. Ambition. By this, I don’t mean a desire to be famous or make a lot of money, but rather a willingness to try to do something great in whatever one does. For the best students, an assignment is not merely a requirement to be met, but an opportunity to test and strengthen themselves.
2. Humility. Seemingly the opposite of ambition, humility, in the best students, sits in elegant balance with it. The best students have the confidence to push themselves to be the best they can, but they are humble enough to know that there is always more to learn. Life is short, and learning the art takes a long time.
3. Creativity. Observers sometimes worry that formal education stifles creativity, and, to be sure, academia does come with certain rules and restrictions. Still, like a great musician or painter, a great student figures out that some rules are actually empowering, and that some can be stretched or broken when the occasion demands.
Of course, these students don’t come along every day. My little A+ list shows I’m lucky if they come along every year, and nobody would suggest you have to be a top student to be a good student. But all students should ask themselves whether they could demonstrate more of these qualities. I know I could have used more of number 2 when I was a student.
But then, we didn’t have blogs in those days, and I probably wouldn’t have listened, anyway.
Todd Pettigrew is Associate Professor English at Cape Breton University.