[DE] Wir schreiben Essays und Artikel, in denen wir als Hochschullehrende unsere Haltungen, Denkweisen und Methoden reflektieren und vorstellen.
[EN] We are writing essays and articles in which we, as university teachers, reflect and elaborate on our attitudes, ways of thinking, and teaching practices.
Ich stelle hier mein Lehrkonzept zum Format der Kurskonferenz zur Verfügung – eine Studierendenkonferenz als Seminarabschluss, in der Studierende disziplinspezifisches Denken und Forschen ausprobieren können und in dem ihre Arbeit als Mittel akademischer Kommunikation statt als Bewertungsobjekt wahr- und ernstgenommen wird.
Wir haben einen wunderbaren Brief von einem unserer ehemaligen Studierenden bekommen, den wir gern teilen möchten.
Viele Studierenden haben eine ungesund stressige Alles-oder-Nichts-Haltung gegenüber ihrer eigenen Arbeit. Sie entspannen sich etwas, wenn sie lernen Prioritäten zu setzen, und wenn sie sich erlauben, bei weniger wichtigen Leistungen „Mittelmäßigkeit“ zu akzeptieren, um Zeit und Energie zu sparen. / Original English version: On ‘embracing mediocrity’.
[DE] In diesem Dezember feiern wir das zweijährige Bestehen von Unconditional Teaching! [EN] This December we’re celebrating two years of Unconditional Teaching!
Warum unser konventionelles Verständnis von Empathie problematisch ist und wie Empathie als Praktik unsere Lehre verbessern kann. / Original English version: On doing empathy.
One of my students showed me the humanity of the academic project with a simple page of acknowledgements.
In this article I explore what we as teachers can do in order to invite the best version of our students into our classroom, taking my cue from Solution Focused coaches, who are experts in inviting a version of their clients into the session that wants to make their life better and has the resources to do so.
Working from home has its perks but teaching can become quite a frustrating, lonely experience when asynchronous teaching is involved. After two semesters of online teaching and going into the third, I want to describe in this article the hurdles I perceive, how I overcame some of them, and what I still find challenging about online teaching.
For Christmas 2020, Katharina and I received a box full of lovely letters from students who express their appreciation for our teaching. :)
Kindness and the tendency to accommodate others can help to foster relationships in education. However, when “Good Girls” grow up to be teachers, their uncompromising yearning for other people’s affections may have problematic consequences.
How can we administer first aid in mental health emergencies if we feel that engaging with people (and often strangers) in distress is putting our own mental well-being at risk?
As teachers, we need to frame plagiarism as a technical problem, not a moral one. Learning how to avoid plagiarism is an integral part of learning what academic writing is about. In fact, once students understand how and why to write as scholars, plagiarism will become a non-issue.
Teaching is about establishing and sustaining connection between curious minds to create and to share ideas and knowledge. Exams are about generating distance and social barriers to safeguard privilege. They are harmful to students and harmful to scholarship.
This is a call to teachers and supervisors to take proactive steps to keep in (virtual) touch with your students in a time of crisis.
In higher education, mistakes are seen as something that needs to be punished. This article argues that ‘making mistakes’ is a vital part of learning and that learning needs the freedom to make mistakes to be healthy.
Acknowledging our vulnerability as teachers by addressing difficulties in class openly is a powerful strategy for connection and learning.
The discourse of wasted potential is omnipresent but it may be a harmful way of speaking about ourselves, relating to others, and thinking about our or others' accomplishments.
In this piece, I elaborate on how the concepts of Radical Acceptance, the “trust-default”, and the distinction between personal and professional expectations helped me to improve and feel better about my teaching and get a better understanding for what I think unconditionality in teaching should entail.
In my writing supervision I focus on process instead of results and on reflection instead of adherence to rules to help students experience more agency over their writing when they become aware of their own writing strategies.
Spending thirty minutes of one class session on honest talk about stress and suffering and coping and healing can have an enormous positive impact on our students’ lives.
Perfectionism is a fear-based attitude towards failure that inhibits learning and encourages self-sabotage. We can fight it by strengthening the inner constructive critic to focus on processes of revision and improvement.
In this entry, I look into Alfie Kohn’s concept of unconditional parenting, which has influenced my thinking about Unconditional Teaching.
When students don’t do my prep assignments, I teach them how to ‘downscale’ homework instead of not doing it at all. This leads to homework being done more consistently as it empowers students to consciously manage their resources and priorities.
I found that I can relieve the writing anxiety many of my students have by de-emphasising normative writing advice and facilitating an appreciative, non-evaluative awareness of their individual writing strategies.
Students often have an unhealthy all-or-nothing attitude toward their work which increases stress levels. They relax a bit when they learn to prioritize their work and allow themselves to ‘embrace mediocrity’ on low-stakes tasks to save time and energy. / Deutsche Version: ‘Mittelmaß’ anstreben.
In my experience as a teacher, students apologize far too much. I think that is troubling, so I try to reframe their ‘failure’ to meet some formal expectation or other as a chance to take control of their own learning.
Students often express that my responses to their writing are in consonance with their own self-assessment, which motivates them to revise their papers. The specific form of my responses facilitates this congruity, and here’s why.
Why our usual thinking about empathy is flawed and how empathy as practice will improve our teaching. / Deutsche Version: Empathisch handeln (statt empathisch sein)
In this entry, I draw a parallel between the mindset of Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and our concept of Unconditional Teaching.
When I respond to student writing, I want to take it seriously as scholarly work with a communicative intent. This 6-step-method of writing responses makes my feedback as effective as possible both in terms of its usefulness for students and in terms of the time it takes me to do.
Feedback that is given on late-stage draft versions of student writing instead of on finalized papers is more meaningful to students because they can immediately use it for a revision of their work. Especially if the feedback is an appreciative response.
Against the rhetoric of competency-based teaching, I set a rhetoric of teaching strategies which focuses on the resources that students already have rather than on their presumed deficiencies.
Writing academic papers is an incredibly involved procedure which brings together many different skills. Often students achieve better results and more confidence about their work when the writing is scaffolded through a series of interconnected steps.