6 Educational Philosophy, Concepts, Methods, and Skills in Teaching Universities utilize course evaluations that employ mostly close-ended ques- tions that rely upon Likert-type scaling. One of the coauthors of this book supplements this evaluation with another one, which asks students to provide feedback—anonymously—by answering a series of open-ended questions. The other coauthor’s university’s course evaluation leaves room for meaningful, open-ended responses. Classroom Management Because instructors are modeling for students the social work skills that they are teaching, they must pay close attention to how they respond to problematic situations that surface in the class. These include students who monopolize the conversation, challenge the instructor, or engage in side conversations. While there may be some instances when instructors may need to talk to the students in question outside of class, they usually will need to address the distracting behavior in some fashion in class. In our teaching, we have found that viewing the dynamic transactionally— analogous to how we view maladaptive group and family communication and relationship patterns and interpersonal tensions between social workers and clients—assists us in responding to the situation in a way that minimizes its disruption of the class and models for students how to handle such situations in their own practice. For example, when one of the coauthors was engaged in a discussion of use of self with the class, a returning student who was employed at a drug treatment program commented, “At my job, I never discuss my per- sonal life because that’s what I was taught. It’s very unprofessional.” It was clear from the student’s tone of voice (as well as from previous comments) that he was challenging the teacher. It also seemed that he had a need to prove to his classmates—and himself—that he knew what he was doing. At that moment, sharing these insights with this student would not have been helpful, and in fact would have been inappropriate. The student’s classmates were watching the student and instructor closely, and the instructor was watching them closely. The student irritated some of them, while others seemed uncomfortable, perhaps wondering how the teacher was going to deal with the challenge. Using a variation of the group work skill of connecting the individual to the group and the group to the individual, the teacher responded, I think Jerry [the student] might be struggling with what disciplined use of self means, and I’m sure others are as well? I’m hoping that as we continue with the discussion, everyone will come to understand why some disclosure is helpful and why other disclosures aren’t. Maybe one of the things that Jerry is pointing
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