A Rare Learning Opportunity


“Do you remember when they cancelled college because of the coronavirus?”

Crises are focal points for the memory. The current crisis we’re now undergoing will long be remembered by various parties for various reasons, and this is something that we might want to appreciate as teachers.

To fellow professor friends: Take a moment to freak out about the semester that just got smashed to bits. But then consider this: your students are living through an EXTRAORDINARY moment in US history. And you have the privilege of giving these events shape and context. Your students will remember this semester for the rest of their lives. This is a rare learning opportunity.

Those are the words of philosopher Arthur Ward, who works at Lyman-Briggs College at Michigan State University, in a recent update on Facebook. (Readers may recall Dr. Ward from last year’s “A Life-Saving Professor“.)

Dr. Ward is right: this is a rare learning opportunity. Should we use it to teach about something related, even if distantly, to one of the many aspects of the current crisis? Are you considering doing this? Please share your ideas for what might be good to teach to take advantage of this opportunity, and how.

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