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Chávez says that one of the best resources for contemporary examples are the students themselves.
Therefore, he focuses on activities that encourage peer-to-peer instruction and are fun and engaging at the same time.
While it is a loud activity with a ton of movement, I consider those all bonus moments for a dynamic learning environment.
Title of the Course – Social Theory Instructor – Sergio Chávez Department – Sociology Course Number - SOCI 380Intended Student Audience- Undergraduates; Sociology majors and minors Course Description: In this class we will treat social theory as a lens for understanding the modern social world and constructing explanations for changes in society. First, we will consider the role of theory in sociological research.
Chávez says that one of the benefits of this activity is that it creates a fun and relaxed learning environment for students who are often nervous about their understanding of the course material heading into the first midterm exam.
Hearing how other people phrase sociological concepts in their own words was great because the readings are a bit dense since they’re primary sources, but this helped break it down.
Chávez found that students are rarely hesitant to dive quickly into conversation about the concepts and theories. Chávez has conducted field research in Tijuana and Guanajuato, Mexico and North Carolina on internal and international migration, labor markets, social networks, and the border.
However, since there are anywhere from 10-20 pairs of students during each "review date" it is difficult for Chávez to keep track of all student discussions and monitor them for any misconceptions that might need to be addressed. His book BORDER LIVES (2016) examines the dynamic migration and working strategies border migrants employ on a daily basis as immigration policies, border enforcement, economic restructuring, and social resources evolve in the cross-border urban environment of Tijuana. Chávez teaches courses on social theory at the graduate and undergraduate level, qualititative methods, and work and occupations.
Sergio Chávez is an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University.
With speed learning, students are challenged to have several one on one conversations with the other students.
I communicate a defined outcome as well as a time limit to help focus the discussions.
For the past 18 months, I’ve been championing ‘speed-dating‘ as an alternative mechanism for staff professional development sessions.
It’s not a silver bullet, nor is it a gimmick, but as an idea for bringing staff together to talk about teaching, it works!
Steps for using the method in class: Outcomes of such an activity include: students become more conversational with their topics, students become more conversational with their classmates (on academic topics), an increased probability of connection with others and their learning, foster a more robust ‘thinking’ process with their own work and every voice is heard.