tara strauch

Survey Tourism

When I was a graduate student, one of the professors I TA’d for taught the survey like, well, a survey.  We “visited” a variety of places examining not only the history but the ways in which the place had remembered that history.  So, for example, we visited Santa Fe and thought critically about the Fiesta…

tara strauch

Information Overload

I’m off this semester on maternity leave and currently hanging out with a very cute one week old so this post will be short and sweet.  Even before the recent public debates over fake news, I’ve been worrying about my students’ ability to read and evaluate internet sources. One activity I have used in the…

tara strauch

Teaching Holidays

Once again this academic year, I face a strange teaching week; my 16 day January term course on the history of American holidays will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day today and examine the inauguration on Friday. When I realized months ago that these two holidays would fall In the same week, I was thrilled…

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Assumptions and the Survey Course

My four year old is oh-so-helpfully sitting beside me while I write this blog post.  I told him I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about and he helpfully told me I should write about something “I really want to write.” Thanks kid. Mostly he is mad because he wants to type nonsense words…

tara strauch

‘Tis the Season for Responsive Lecturing

A few years ago I went to a pedagogy round table at a conference. It was an excellent panel which involved some small group discussion. One of the members of my group proclaimed that they, “would never lecture again. The flipped classroom was the only way to teach.” I was taken aback by this statement…

tara strauch

Letting Go of Content

Much to my two survey classes’ delight, I have now, in week three, mastered their names.  I have only tripped over the podium twice and have only one chalk incident to report.  It is the beginning of a banner year! I spent some of time on the blog last year puzzling how to ensure my…

tara strauch

Pop Culture Revolution

For the last day of my American Revolution class, I asked the students to send me a youtube clip, meme, or other pop culture reference to the revolution, founding fathers, etc. I organized the material so that we covered political comedy, political usage of the founders, memes about the founding fathers and sex, and so…

tara strauch

Group Work Therapy

My colleagues and I were joking the other day that academics should get therapy for their undergraduate group work experience because we were always the one who worked the hardest and felt put upon by the group work system. My fear of group work has kept me from assigning a group project these past four…