Example of Beautiful Pedagogy

Background Information

The video below is a segment from the history aspect of the Newsroom Project. In the Newsroom project students were assigned to pitch and write a weekly article for the class news site. In this lesson segment, we are looking at the ethics of evidence and doing a world cafe grappling with questions about the relationship between ethics and evidence in their writing.

Why I Chose World Cafe

I chose to use the world cafe activity because it's fun and interactive. As I learned in my class on English Language Development, having fun and being relaxed helps students feel more comfortable to test their ideas. It gives an opportunity for students to lead the conversation and take ownership over their learning. It also offers different modalities for learning: writing, drawing, and talking. Since it is run by the students, it also shifts the cognitive load from me to the students. Lastly, small groups give more voices an opportunity to be heard. 

Key Takeaways from World Cafe

By picking the hosts ahead of time, I was able to coach them and prepare them for facilitating. While listening to each conversation, I was able to continuously perform an informal assessment. It allowed me to see who needed more support in understanding the concepts and who was becoming an experts. Based on the conversations I was listening to, it was clear that talking out these concepts helped the students develop a deeper understanding of the ethics of anecdotal and academic evidence. Students were able to have a casual conversation using new academic language. With each round, I offered feedback for the next round. The students were able to take a little bit of feedback at a time to make each round even better than the last. Lastly, it was evident that we have a strong class culture because students felt comfortable to share different ideas they had, even if they were worried they were wrong. It was truly beautiful seeing some students who were typically quiet in class find empowerment and developed their voice in this fun activity.​