Provost’s Teaching Week returns Monday with faculty exchange of teaching methodsBy William Harms
The University will again recognize its heritage as a teacher of teachers when Provost’s Teaching Week begins on Monday, Nov. 6. Now in its second year, the week is an opportunity for faculty members to sit in on classes taught by other professors who are considered to be some of the University’s top teachers.
“Last winter’s first Provost’s Teaching Week brought many faculty into the classrooms to watch as their colleagues taught in a variety of settings and styles. They gathered ideas that I know many applied to their own teaching. I’m sure this year’s teaching week will be an equally successful exchange of ideas,” said Provost Richard Saller.
The faculty members chosen to participate in this year’s weeklong program range from a first-term assistant professor to a Nobel laureate. These are the six faculty members and the classes they teach that will be open to other professors:
Orit Bashkin, Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, does research on Iraqi history and Arab intellectual history. She also has studied the emergence of democratic discourses in Iraq during the interwar period. She will teach Introduction to the History of Modern Iraq.
Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics, specializes in the way economic decisions influence people’s lives, including the way economics influences family decision making. Winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992, Becker will be teaching Price Theory-1.
Ayelet Fishbach, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science in the Graduate School of Business, does research on self-control, motivation and emotion. She will be teaching the course Strategies, Processes, Negotiation.
Henry Frisch, Professor in Physics and the College, specializes in the search for new states of matter, for signs of extra-spatial dimensions and for particles that form dark matter. He will be teaching Foundations of Modern Physics-1.
Randal Picker, the Paul and Theo Leffmann Professor in the Law School, is a specialist in antitrust, network industries, technology, bankruptcy and commercial transactions. He will be teaching Antitrust Law.
William Veeder, Professor in English Language & Literature, specializes in American and English Gothic fiction and the work of Henry James. He will be teaching Henry James: The Fiction of Crisis.
“I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and I look forward to having other faculty sit in. Economics tends to be a technical field, but what I try to teach in addition to the technical skills is economic intuition. I do that by working through problems and helping students understand how economic analysis can be applied in a variety of ways. Learning about demand is one way to do this. There is demand for cars, for instance, but there is also demand for children and things that are not monetary,” Becker said.
The program was initiated last year in Winter Quarter and is being rotated through the academic quarters each year. Saller started the Provost’s Teaching Week as a way to disseminate excellent teaching practices throughout the faculty. Professors selected for the program teach in a variety of ways, including lectures and through seminar-style class discussions.
They were selected from nominations made by division deans and professional school deans. A committee of deputy and associate provosts and faculty members reviewed the nominations and made recommendations to Saller.