MCC Daily Tribune

David Barnett (Associate Vice President of Program Curriculum Development) to Present at Filling Station

Dr. David Barnett (Associate Vice President of Program and Curriculum Development) will present at this semester's first Filling Station today (Friday, February 8) from 12-12:50 p.m. in 8-200. According to David, "The broad aim of the presentation is to persuade the listener that one need not literally teach abroad as a professional instructor to have teaching experiences that are illuminated in their structure and dynamics by reflectively examining them using a metaphorical conception of 'teaching abroad.' Soon after I started teaching undergraduate engineering students in Shanghai, China, I became aware to a degree that I had not been before, how much 'at home' I had felt previously in college classrooms in New York City. Degree of familiarity matters when we engage with other people - whether we are teaching or conversing or arguing - not because the familiar is better but because discounting the importance of cultural, experiential and other disconnects to our engagement people outside our metaphorical 'home,' courts avoidable breakdowns in trust, patience and goodwill. More concretely, I soon realized after reaching China that my approach to pursuing the three key goals I give myself when teaching - to be effective, authentic, and ethical - would have to be reengineered for my exciting but challenging new environment. In the presentation I will use examples related to his students' preconceptions about Americans, my own preconceptions about Chinese, and the micropolitics of teaching and promoting liberal arts disciplines in an authoritarian political context. I will invite listeners to discuss whether, in their own teaching experiences - from the formal to the very informal - they have ever felt themselves moving between contexts that are more, and contexts that are less, familiar and, if they have, to discuss adjustments they might make to achieve their goals when 'teaching abroad.'"

This event is free and open to the entire MCC community.

Leuzzi, Anthony