The Classroom Atmosphere

I was inspired to discuss the unique classroom atmosphere we have experienced this semester in English after reading Maddie’s and Rachel’s posts.Throughout my undergraduate experience as a Biology major, I have taken many classes where I did not know all the students in my class and was surprised to see someone at a final presentation.  I also have taken classes where I didn’t know someone’s name and never bothered to learn it. A majority of science courses are taught through lectures and while it is a good way to teach large groups of people, it is not the only way, as can be seen in our English course. Through sitting in a circle and learning everyone’s names in the first week, it created a welcoming atmosphere for learning and growing. Although each individual was responsible for doing the reading before class, I was able to understand the readings better after group collaboration. Dividing into smaller groups eased the transition from my typical lecture classes and gave me the confidence to speak in group discussions. While I was hesitant of being in a class that emphasized class participation, I found it an extremely helpful way to reinforce concepts through collaborative discussion. The success I found from class discussion led me to apply to graduate programs that incorporated problem-based learning that emphasized students working in groups to solve open ended problems, rather than just the typical lecture style classes. The unique atmosphere found in this English class helped me progress positively through the class and also helped form part of my future plans beyond Geneseo.


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