“We want teaching to be something we can acquire and lock up,” but teaching is “nothing we can hold onto, nothing we can simply pull off the shelf and run.”1 I suspect that after the experience of the past semester, most of us have kissed that aspiration goodbye. For us in academia, it is hardly an exaggeration to note that everything has changed, and changed fast, and most of us are now being asked to do what seems impossible despite our institutions’ emergency attempts to equip us for what we need in order to promote (or at least maintain) student learning in an uncertain time. In a time of on-going, almost daily emergencies, epidemiological, interpersonal, and pedagogical, we can only wonder what comes next in the classroom. What comes next here is a relatively informal (for an academic journal) three-part invitation to use the current turmoil in your professional life as an opportunity to re-examine how you teach. What I propose is neither new nor radical, though it is fundamental: What would happen to our classes if we shifted the focus away from content delivery and mastery to what pedagogical specialists call “deep learning”? In a new time and a new format, can we meet our curricular outcomes in new ways?
Lanci, John, "Somewhere I’ve Never Been: Part 1" (2020). JRCA Pedagogy. 1.