In this episode Tyll talks about a five-day block seminar that he taught in July 2020 entitled “Owning Your Position: Critical Argumentation Skills for Scholars of Culture” in which he and the students created a very supportive, empathetic classroom atmosphere.
In this episode of the Unconditional Teaching Podcast, we talk about a block seminar titled “Owning Your Position: Critical Argumentation Skills for Scholars of Culture” that Tyll had taught in July 2020. The concept of the class was to give students tools to transfer their knowledge of critical theory into discussions they have in their everyday life.
Tyll had planned the block seminar to take place over the course of one week in a classroom, with a lot of discussions, interaction and role-playing, and he addresses the challenges of having to redesign the class for online teaching. He talks openly about his insecurities and his vulnerability about his lack of experience with online teaching, and how his honesty led to a very supportive, empathetic classroom atmosphere in which the students took an active role and showed a lot of appreciation and kindness towards him and each other.
In the first part of this conversation we talk about the concept of the class, rhetorical strategies and toxic tropes that people use in destructive discussions, how Tyll adapted the class to the needs of the students, specific teaching challenges in a Zoom classroom, how the students shaped the social contract of the class, ways of communicating that facilitate trust between teachers and learners, and about the power of showing vulnerability.
In the second part, Tyll talks in more depth about the strategies of argumentation and discussion that he and his students had worked on in the seminar. He also reflects on the question of why such a format is part of academic practice, and he talks about recuperation strategies after a taxing week of online teaching.
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Music © by Lily Olason.