I just returned from the University of Virginia, where I had the pleasure of working on the Teaching and Learning Project with Michael Palmer and staff at the UVA Center for Teaching Excellence. The trip was packed, and SO enjoyable. Being on the UVA grounds is a little like stepping back in time. Everything is as Thomas Jefferson envisioned–or would have envisioned, thanks to the extreme care in preserving old construction and building new in a way that is in keeping with the old.

During my visit, I photographed class sessions of (deep breath here) Accelerated Spanish; Single Variable Calculus; Physics; Material and Energy Balances; Engineering and Society; a General Chemistry lab; Nature and Nurture of the Senses; Introduction to the Night Sky and Solar System; Introduction to Design; Economics for Public Policy; Masterpieces of French Cinema; Modern Dance; Introduction to Youth and Social Innovation; Introduction to Media Studies; Principles and Practices of Arts Administration; and Systems Thinking and Sustainable Business. (Whew!)

I’ve really only begun to get to edits of all of this work, but I will share a few images here. All of the class sessions were memorable. Many of the instructors had been through the CTE’s Course Design Institute, and were trying all kinds of innovative approaches to teaching in their disciplines. The most memorable moment, however, came in the Masterpieces of French Cinema class. At the beginning of that class session, the instructor announced “I had a lesson planned around the film ‘Hate’ today, but that is all out the window.” She then opened up the room for discussion of the recent attacks in Paris and spent the next hour listening to what her students had to say. It was their first class meeting since the attacks, and it was a beautiful moment in the wake of something so awful.


Following are a few other memorable moments. I’ll post more in a few weeks, as I continue to work with UVA and make a second visit.