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Teaching Community of Practice (TCP) Meeting #2Practicing Imperfection: Cruelty-Free Approaches to Pedagogy and Syllabi

Guest speaker: Dr. Matt Cheney, Plymouth State University

No teacher is perfect, and the perfect teacher for one student is probably not the perfect teacher for another. These truths may feel frustrating and even defeating, but how might we embrace our imperfections and turn them into positive values for our work? Can we build syllabi that encourage experimentation and don’t increase anxiety and fear? Might we serve as role models for the productive and even beautiful ways that learning and teaching are messy and imperfect? Can we reduce the hidden and not-so-hidden cruelties lurking in our pedagogy by designing for imperfection? Dr. Matthew Cheney will bring these questions to a provocative, inspiring — and imperfect — presentation.

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Guest Speaker Bio

Matthew Cheney is Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. He is the author of About That Life: Barry Lopez and the Art of Community (Punctum Books), Modernist Crisis and the Pedagogy of Form (Bloomsbury Academic), Blood: Stories (Black Lawrence Press), and The Last Vanishing Man and Other Stories (forthcoming from Third Man Books). He has appeared on the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, among others, and his work has been published in English Journal, Woolf Studies Annual, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, LitHub, Conjunctions, One Story, Weird Tales, and elsewhere.