Posts By: David Ebenbach

Implicit Bias: What’s in Your Classroom?

Psychological and sociological research have made it clear that everybody is prone to biases. What’s more, some of these biases we carry and deploy unreflectively, often unwittingly, or in other words implicitly. What this means for us is that all teachers carry unexamined, unintentional judgments and expectations with us into the classroom—a mental picture of… Read more »

Get Backward on Technology

These days there’s always some new technology, something new and shiny, to bring into the classroom. But “new” and “shiny” are not, in themselves, good reasons to adopt a new technology in your classroom; nor are they good reasons to reject it. Whether we’re talking about a virtual reality headset, a collaborative online game, the… Read more »

Putting Well-Being in the Lesson Plan

When students enter the classroom, they show up in their full complexity, with many layers and intersecting identities. In other words, they don’t just bring their intellects, which of course are not separable from all the other things that characterize people—background experience, hopes, concerns, physical and mental health (and/or health issues), and lots more. This… Read more »

Ignatian Pedagogy: The Meaning of Reflection

How can we make learning mean something? How can we go beyond conveying information to helping students grow in understanding and wisdom? At a Jesuit institution like Georgetown, we might turn for answers to the rich tradition of Ignatian Pedagogy. This contemplative approach to teaching is rooted in the sixteenth-century spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius—and… Read more »

Really, Though: How’s the Semester Going?

The typical greeting on campus these days involves the question “How’s the semester going?” There are common answers, too, maybe involving how fast time is going by, or how much the grading is piling up—but, beyond those habitual observations, it can be hard to be sure just exactly how class is going. Most students at… Read more »

Keeping Goals in the Picture

In the bustle (and sometimes chaos) of the semester itself, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day details and forget the bigger picture. But of course there is a bigger picture, and it’s the answer to this question: What do you want your students to achieve in your course? The answer to… Read more »

The Coming Storm: Snow, Emails, and Other Forces

We’re not too deep into the semester, but you may already be buried. Maybe you’re under a pile of emails—or voicemails, or requests for appointments outside your office hours. Things can get overwhelming. Hopefully you’ve already established some guidelines for your students in terms of how and when you want them to communicate with you… Read more »

Teaching Through Political Change and Tension

This week of the Presidential Inauguration is likely to be a challenging one for many students. Those who are concerned about the incoming administration may well be distracted and upset, and those who are excited about the change could well feel defensive and tense. In some classes—e.g., political science, history, sociology—these issues might come out… Read more »

Building a Course for Everyone

No two courses are ever the same, even if it’s one you’ve taught over and over again, even if you’re not planning to make any changes. That’s because every time you teach a class you’re teaching a new group of students. Each group comes with its own range of learning styles, abilities, experiences, motivations, and… Read more »