What class can be
Last night I went to Peruvian shamanism class. It’s kind of wonderful to have an outlet and a community to explore all kinds of things in LA but I digress. It was a wonderful class for many reasons and prompted me to muse about my experiences in and leading class and what a really good class should be like. Here are some quick notes on what made last night’s class so wonderful.
This class was apart from utilitarianism, grades, certifications, overcrowding, cutt-throat culture, and other things that usually make class less fun. This was a class where everyone who was there wanted to be there, both teacher and students. The teacher had put time and effort into planning the class, the concepts to be communicated, and how to explain those concepts. Everyone was curious, outspoken, really into it, and all contributed. There was no posturing. People didn’t fear to ask for clarification, or repetition. There was a really mutually supportive vibe in the class community.
Class size was small enough that everyone has time to speak up and no one gets lost in the cracks. This probably varies from person to person, but when I teach my ideal class size is on the order of 1 teacher to 10 students, maybe a little more but not too much beyond that, and definitely much fewer than the average lab college lab class size of 20. I’m sure there are education theories about this number, and I wonder if it has anything to do with the brain’s ability to keep track of independent points in space.
Shall have to keep this brief as I have a meeting to run to. I wonder what would constitute an ideal classroom situation for other folks. If you have thoughts please share below.