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Classroom Discussion set for IAP

Classroom Discussion

forum set for IAP

By Bill Jackson

The Undergraduate Association, the Undergraduate Academic Support Office and the MIT Colloquium Committee will sponsor a set of workshops during Independent Activities Period designed to explore methods of fostering discussion in MIT classrooms.

The nine-hour workshops, called "Classroom Discussion: Making It Happen," will be headed by a "management trio" consisting of one graduate student or post-doctoral fellow, one undergraduate student and one faculty member. The groups, each limited to a maximum of 15 people, will meet over a period of three days to exchange information about the various perspectives that professors, teaching assistants and students have about classroom interaction.

The workshop groups will be grouped into three broad areas: humanities and social sciences, engineering and science. The management trio will prepare some readings, but the actual structure of the sessions will be determined by the group itself.

"This was spurred by the `Teaching Within a Research University' colloquium," said UA President Stacy E. McGeever '93, "as one of many programs in an effort for better teaching at MIT."

McGeever said the program would be a good chance for undergraduates not only to tell professors and TAs what they would like to see in class, but also for students to hear the teachers' side of the issue. "We want to emphasize that the learning process is a two-way street. Professors and students should come to both give and take advice."