l’esprit d’escalier

Week after week, it seems that some of the best student comments in my Reading Popular Culture course come up either during the break or after the class. Without heavy-handedly planting or scripting class discussions, I’d like to encourage these students to share their insights and questions with the whole group. These tend to be regular contributors to class discussion anyway, so maybe they are self-conscious about dominating discussion. I think I need to foster a class atmosphere more conducive to interjection and disagreement. Maybe lead with an encouragement each week. If it works, it would spare me broadcasting questions into the quiet hum and click of laptops; they tend to get less mileage. Or pose head-to-head break-out topics. I’ve heard some buzz about head-to-heads; must be time to try it out and report back.

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