Bok Blog

A Teaching Moment: Transformational Learning in Troubled Times

This is a guest post from Bok Blog contributor Stephen Tardif

By the measure of the academy’s institutional time, the distance between May and September is vast. It can be glimpsed through a telling shift in tone: at the end of spring, we give graduates wistful wisdom from the place they leave behind, while fall’s freshmen are welcomed with words of forward-looking hope—along with solemn admonitions to make the most of their college years.

Coming up next, Harvard Horizons!

The Harvard Horizons experience will culminate in the much-anticipated Harvard Horizons Symposium, Wednesday, May 6 at 4:15pm in Sanders Theater. Presented by GSAS and the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard Horizons is a showcase of the interesting research being performed by Harvard's graduate students.

Ignorance, Expertise, and Hard Questions in the Classroom

This is a guest post from Bok Blog contributor Stephen Tardif

Every teacher knows the feeling: the panic that comes when a student asks a question whose answer isn’t immediately within reach. For most teachers, a stuttering response—or even a blank moment of thunderstruck silence—is preferable to the simple, honest, but embarrassing answer of “I don’t know.” Yet why should an admission of ignorance (especially in response to an excellent question) feel like a needless surrender of hard-won credibility, if not a tacit admission of professional guilt?

The Scholar’s Art: Assessing Creative Assignments

This is a guest post from Bok Blog contributor Stephen Tardif

On a Thursday morning in early March, the current cohort of Departmental Teaching Fellows gathered for a meeting with the Bok Center’s Director of Media, Literacy, and Visualization in a spacious room in the Science Center. Awaiting them there were two cameras trained on a bald man with a beaming smile whose laptop screen was being broadcast back onto a flatscreen TV behind him.