“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in a most delightful way!”
Unlike the heroine of the 1964 movie, Pellissippi State Community College’s Anne Pharr doesn’t blow into her classroom with an umbrella, but in her early years of teaching English, the assistant professor says she did make use of what she now calls the “Mary Poppins model” to engage students.
Pharr addresses the effectiveness of different teaching styles in an upcoming lecture at the college, “From Mary Poppins to Maleficent: Professorial Persona and Student Perception.” The event is at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
“In an attempt to engage my students,” said Pharr, who has been teaching for two decades, “I added a spoonful of sugar to any task that might seem the least bit medicinal (or unpleasant) to my students. After a few years, I began to wonder if this approach to student engagement—putting all the responsibility on the teacher—set students up for long-term success.
“No one wants to be viewed as a Maleficent. But in my lecture, I hope faculty and students can consider this possibility: if an educator’s goal is to truly engage students, not merely entertain them, then temporary discomfort may well be worth it.”
The presentation by Pharr, the first of the 2014-15 Faculty Lecture Series, is free and open to the community.
The Faculty Lecture Series is one of the many events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. Throughout the next year, the Arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.
For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.