Thursday, September 6, 2012
SMU professor José Bowen on “Teaching Naked”
Dean of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts bares all in the classroom.
Dean Bowen is rethinking how students are learning in the classroom. His recently published book Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning introduces an inverted classroom style of learning to SMU to show the importance of student to professor interaction.
“The traditional model is you come to class unprepared and I expose you. The first contact comes in the class and you go and then learn. Then you come back and I test you,” Bowen said. “With inverted style you have first contact before you come to the classroom, it could be through a video, lecture, or reading. Then I hold you accountable and I test you. You do the work before you come to class and then come to class and interact.”
Teaching Naked introduces a different approach to higher education teaching. The human-to-human interactions and discussions are its focal point and how they are shaped in the classroom is key. The better students become at problem solving, the more prepared they are for life in the real world.
Competition has increased across the board among colleges and online education providers. This begs the question, “Why are students paying so much tuition at school when they could learn the same thing for less money?”
The difference simply comes down to the teaching style and how a student learns to think.
“Tuition can’t go up forever and people aren’t going to pay. If you want more people to pay money you have to have value,” Bowen said. “The industry is changing and I think I have a model that provides value.”
With more than 30 years of teaching experience, Dean Bowen offers his advice to faculty and administrators on how to actively engage students in the classroom. The book explains how technology can be an effective tool, if used correctly, outside the classroom. “The world is [an] open book so I would argue that all our classrooms should be open book,” Bowen said.
With a new office dedicated to Engaged Learning outside the classroom, what about inside the classroom? It is a mixture of both outside and inside learning experiences to develop global thinkers once they graduate.
“It is about engagement and we need to meet students where they are. Your job as a teacher is also to motivate,” Bowen said, “There is a shift from teaching to learning. I can open doors, I can provide insight, I can provide encouragement but I can’t memorize for you. The motivation of the student is what is driving the teacher.”
Dean Bowen is also in the process of starting a new book called Art and Change. Bowen believes that art is instrumental in changing how we think. Art is all about change and introduces people to views that are radically different from their way of thinking.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Daily Campus
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