Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Very Harry Potter Symposium

If you get the reference in the title, kudos to you :)

Me at the Harry Potter Studio Tour Experience in London.
So I attended the symposium workshop on Harry Potter, which was more relevant to my course of study than I had expected!  I thought that I was just going to go, sit in, and listen to Harry Potter nerds talk about Harry Potter to Harry Potter nerds like me.  But this was on the pedagogy of Harry Potter (pedagogy meaning style of education), and since I am an English teaching major, I found this very interesting.  I particularly liked the analysis on Professor Lupin's teaching style, and I discovered there was a lot to be learned from professors like Lupin (A+ professor), McGonagall (another favorite), Lockhart (honestly, he's just an idiot), and Umbridge (I won't even delve into the depths of my hatred for this creature.)

credit & Warner Bros Studio
Lupin is a prime example of an excellent teacher because JK Rowling created him to be the teacher that she had never had growing up.  Something that was brought up at the symposium was his first day lesson plans: he told them to put their textbooks away and to pull their wands out, because they were going to be doing something constructive.  According to the speakers at the symposium, teachers that engage their students immediately on the first day set the standard for the rest of the year.  Contrast this with Umbridge, who told them to pull their books out and put their wands away, and then proceeded to instruct them to read chapter 1.  Not exactly an engaging professor.  Not only that, but she was abusive and demeaning to her students.  Even though Umbridge and Lupin taught the same subject, their teaching methods were vastly different.

And with that, I leave you with the truth on the left.  Because no one can deny that it's true.

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