Author Archives: Ryan Donovan

On Building a Community in the Classroom

By Ryan Donovan|March 10, 2016|Pedagogy Guide, Peer mentoring, Reflection, student-centered pedagogy|0 comments

This blog is a reflection on implementing strategies and tools I learned as a student in the inaugural course offered by the Futures Initiative in Spring 2015 at The Graduate Center/CUNY. Though my students gave me permission to write about their experiences, I have intentionally obscured any identifying details.   In the second week of the semester, my students were assigned to give introductory speeches to the class. As this is

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Mapping the Semester

By Ryan Donovan|May 30, 2015|Reflection|2 comments

I could only hope that my students got half as much out of our semester together as I did as a result of participating in “Mapping the Futures of Higher Education.” Being a part of this experiment was a profound experience for me, one that has certainly initiated a desire to keep this work going. One of the highlights of the semester was our celebration on May 22. To look around the

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Two Great Resources

By Ryan Donovan|May 5, 2015|Of interest|0 comments

Hi all, Here are two resources I have been meaning to share: KQED’s MindShift blog. This is a wonderful resource from the Bay Area’s public radio station, and though many of the articles are geared for K-12 it’s not like students are suddenly fundamentally different learners in year 13 than year 12. Reacting to the Past. This is what I mentioned in class today that I am planning to incorporate into my syllabus.

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The Power of Play

By Ryan Donovan|April 28, 2015|Reflection|3 comments

In last week’s session on “Embodiment and the Classroom,” I briefly spoke about the lifelong importance of play after we had done two exercises that incorporated elements of play. Play is often used in K-12 education, yet often goes unconsidered and neglected in higher education. However, the benefits of play are not limited to those under the age of 18. I just came across this article by philosopher Stephen T. Asma

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Hunter College Intro to Theatre Map: Theatre Across New York City

By Ryan Donovan|April 25, 2015|Mapping|1 comments

Students in Hunter College’s Intro to Theatre course were assigned to see a performance of their choice and write a reflection on their experience. This map links the individual reflections of each student and the location of each theatre where they attended the performance. You can read reviews of everything from student productions to long-running Broadway shows, reflecting the breadth and depth of theatre available to all of us lucky enough to

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“Earth is Forgiveness School”–Anne Lamott

By Ryan Donovan|April 17, 2015|Reflection|3 comments

Our class sessions on Professors & Persistence got me thinking about the role of forgiveness in the classroom, particularly inspired by writer Anne Lamott‘s essay on “shitty first drafts.” In this essay, Lamott gives writers permission to write badly, at first. Along with this come the notion that first drafts are supposed to be shitty and to forgive yourself for not being perfect. I’ve been thinking a lot about this

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Education in the Age of Adjunctification

By Ryan Donovan|April 15, 2015|Class Recap, Reflection|1 comments

Yesterday’s class session with John Mogalescu, Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs at CUNY, was really wonderful, inspiring, and a bit troubling, but I’ll get to that in a minute. The undeniably astounding results that the ASAP program is having truly prove that institutional change is possible and must happen for higher ed to change. And yes, sometimes this change comes from the top down which nobody likes, but when “the way

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What we (don’t) talk about when we talk about adjuncting

By Ryan Donovan|March 27, 2015|Reflection|7 comments

I came across this wonderful post from The New Yorker about the adjunct problem and thought it could spark a good conversation. Have you come out to your students as an adjunct? Coming out as an adjunct is necessary. Your students may not pay any attention to whether your job title is instructor, assistant professor or distinguished professor. Like the author of the New Yorker piece, I did not realize

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Reflections on Student-Centered Learning and Experiences

By Ryan Donovan|March 18, 2015|Reflection|3 comments

As we’ve been focusing on student-centered learning the past few weeks, it has been inspiring to see how creative all of my fellow co-learners/teachers are. Each week I leave our “Mapping the Futures…” class challenged and invigorated to bring our discussions into my classroom and really get to experience them with my students. This really and truly is the most student-centered class I’ve ever been privileged to participate in. This post is

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Preparation and Self-Assessment

By Ryan Donovan|March 2, 2015|Reflection|5 comments

As we worked on our assessment units in class, I began to think about how assessment follows us from birth to death. For many of us, the first words we’ll hear are “It’s a (insert gender pronoun here)!” And as I recently sat in the funeral of a relative, I listened to other family member’s assessments of her life: “She was kind. She glowed from within. She taught us how to die

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