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Class Not Dismissed

Class Not Dismissed: Reflections on Undergraduate Education and Teaching the Liberal Arts

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Class Not Dismissed
    Book Description:

    InClass Not Dismissed, award-winning professor Anthony Aveni tells the personal story of his six decades in college classrooms and some of the 10,000 students who have filled them. Through anecdotes of his own triumphs and tribulations-some amusing, others heartrending-Aveni reveals his teaching story and thoughts on the future of higher education.

    Although in recent years the lecture has come under fire as a pedagogical method, Aveni ardently defends lecturing to students. He shares his secrets on crafting an engaging lecture and creating productive dialogue in class discussions. He lays out his rules on classroom discipline and tells how he promotes the lost art of listening. He is a passionate proponent of the liberal arts and core course requirements as well as a believer in sound teaching promoted by active scholarship.

    Aveni is known to his students as a consummate storyteller. InClass Not Dismissedhe shares real stories about everyday college life that shed light on serious educational issues. The result is a humorous, reflective, inviting, and powerful inquiry into higher education that will be of interest to anyone invested in the current and future state of college and university education.

    eISBN: 978-1-60732-303-7
    Subjects: Education, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    At first I had in mind a set of memoirs filled with lasting moments in and around my classroom, interactions with students and colleagues, the worst and best experiences on campus, moments of reflection about those I hold dear who mentored me in my career as teacher and scholar: what you might expect from a prof who has held one and only one job his entire professional life, a job—how I hate to call it that—he’s loved from day one and continues to cherish. Having completed my fiftieth year of service at Colgate University, a small liberal arts...

  5. 2 Why I Teach
    (pp. 5-24)

    I dedicateClass Not Dismissedto Miss Sarah Cohen, my second-grade teacher at the Truman Street School in New Haven, Connecticut. Because it is so often the case that someone’s gift to us early in life goes unappreciated until much later, I’ve lost track of her. I’m not even sure whether her version of Sarah comes with an “h.”

    Miss Cohen was tall, dark, late-thirty-ish, with a slightly raspy voice (she was a heavy smoker). Gentle in her demeanor, extremely patient, and—as anyone would know who spent five minutes in her classroom or only peered through one of its...

  6. 3 What I Teach
    (pp. 25-78)

    How far you go in the stream of life depends on the speed and course of the current that carries you. That’s the “life is like a river trip” analogy. Fortunately for me, the current was pretty swift when I stepped in.

    Vestigial remnants of memory bites about how I got my first (and only) job emanate from my early days in graduate school. It was the summer of 1963 and I had just passed my astronomy prelims at the University of Arizona. I’d begun collecting data with the new Kitt Peak telescopes for my dissertation on the birth of...

  7. 4 How I Teach
    (pp. 79-150)

    Everybody loves a good story, and I think being a good teacher begins with being a good storyteller. By telling stories you can hook your students into appreciating the human quest to understand the world by reflecting on how it has been perceived through different eyes—those of the poet, the artist, and the naturalist—throughout history.

    “Remember when you invited your former student, David Carballo, to come back to Colgate and give a guest lecture on his archaeological excavations in Mexico? I was a freshman, and that talk was one of the most unforgettable events in my college career,”...

  8. 5 Questioning Teaching
    (pp. 151-210)

    June 15, 1965, my dissertation defense—a harrowing three-hour rite de passage in which each of the four inquisitors who served on my committee saw fit to invite his or her professional pals to join in devouring my brain. Things didn’t calm down for me until they began feasting on one another. They gestured in agreement and disagreement on issues ranging from the nature of atomic nuclei to the creation of the universe, subjects quite remote from my research problem, which had to do with measuring the effects of hot gas clouds surrounding nascent stars and how to calculate the...

  9. 6 Epilogue: Class (Not) Dismissed
    (pp. 211-214)

    “So, when are you gonna retire?” If you’ve been around the college awhile, greying around the temples, maybe forgetting to come to a meeting once in a while, you’ve probably been asked that question. I have for the past decade or so.

    My answer is this: not as long as I have Bridget and Miri and Alex and Kayla and Sam and David and Peter and Amy and Steve and Ron and Mitch … I remember my exceptional students as well as I recall my favorite teachers. I just parsed out some of the most memorable in five-year blocks going...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 215-223)