Classroom Activities

Tibetan Renaissance Seminar > Classroom Activities

Classroom Activities from the Tibetan Renaissance Seminar

This page is devoted to outlining the structure and nature of actual face-to-face seminar meetings. Students are invited to participate in creatively thinking and expressing here ideas about how to facilitate dynamic and useful seminar meetings. For new suggestions, title it with a second level header (h2), and then write our your suggestion clearly.

Discussion Questions

The calendar has a section entitled "Discussion Questions" for each week. The instructor and student should register questions there that they think will be productive of discussion, and which form central questions for the areas studied.

Opening Discussion of Issues coming out of Assignments

Devote 20 minutes a week to discussing the assignments and what people are finding.

Debate structure

Try to cultivate more of a genuine multilateral conversation, with students required to comment on each other's comments, or an even more formal debate structure in the classroom, in which a few major topics are agreed upon and then discussed from a variety of potentially opposing perspectives, even if some of the debaters don't intuitively agree with the angle they are assigned/volunteering to represent. An example is outlining the possible relationships between translators/authors and the texts that are coming out of the renaissance period. Instead of just making a list and imploring ourselves to think about it, perhaps we could structure a debate around the evidence and likelihood of a few or all of the options, and spent 15 minutes hashing it out.

Chat driven Assignment Review

The summarizer for a given week gives a brief presentation of the highlights from the Blue Annals segment he or she worked on (this could potentially also be just a reading of their work). As the presentation unfolds, students chime in on collab chat with comments and questions. In the case of comments, students should note when a topic of the summary is relevant to the work they did to prepare for class. For example, if the summarizer mentions rin chen bzang po, and a student did a biography of rin chen bzang po, the biographer indicates this in chat. On the other hand, students should raise issues in chat that aren't clear in the summary or that beg further investigation. At the end of the presentation, the chat transcript is reviewed, corollary presentations are made (e.g. biography, gazetteer, motifs, etc.), and questions are discussed.