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Identifying and Engaging Students’ Prior Knowledge (Grad Students)

April 7 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Register here.

One of the truths of how people learn is that all learning builds on prior knowledge. What might this mean for instructors teaching foundational courses in their discipline—or for instructors teaching in interdisciplinary settings? How might this practice support or challenge efforts to achieve learning objectives, and/or to foster an inclusive course climate? Indeed, the ways in which instructors identify and engage students’ prior knowledge can have important implications for student learning. At times, instructors may choose to deliberately design learning experiences that extend, amplify, or resonate with the experiences, values, or knowledge students bring into the classroom. Yet at other times, instructors may seek to challenge these ideas in service of course learning objectives.

In this session, participants will apply these provocations to ideas to their own teaching contexts and confront a range of questions about how and why engaging students’ prior knowledge matters:

What skills, knowledge, resources or values do your students bring to the classroom?
Which of these resources might be beneficial to student learning? Which might pose challenges?
How might you find out about a student’s prior knowledge?
What might you do with this information in service of your goals for student learning and course climate?
This session will be facilitated by Caitlin DeClercq, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Programs and Services at the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Attending this workshop and posting a reflection satisfies the Pedagogy Workshop requirement for participants in the Teaching Development Program (TDP). See bit.ly/ctl-tdp for details.

Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Contact ColumbiaCTL@columbia.edu or 212.854.1692 for accommodations.

This event may be photographed. Note, if this is an online event, CTL staff may take screenshots. For concerns, contact ColumbiaCTL@columbia.edu.