Talk about Teaching: Diana Magnuson and Ruben Rivera

In recent years the Bethel University Library has become a community gathering place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, regularly hosting faculty, staff, and students for talks on a wide array of topics. People from the History Department have been frequent contributors at these events, including a series in which professors “Talk about Teaching.”

You can find many of these videos (from our department and others) archived at the new Bethel University Digital Library’s Community Video Collection. But this summer we’ll take time to spotlight a few of our own folks — continuing today with Diana Magnuson and Ruben Rivera.

Diana MagnusonDiana’s video comes from April 2009, when she was part of a panel discussion on interdisciplinary collaboration. (Technically, this wasn’t in the official “Talk about Teaching” series, but her section certainly fits the theme.) She and English literature professor Thomas Becknell reflected on their experience teaching “tandem courses” about the American Civil War. Diana’s course by that title (HIS307) is often taught in the same semester and time bloc Becknell’s ENL311 Studies in American Literature: The Civil War. The two classes are separate, but overlap — occasionally coming together so that Diana can provide greater historical context for the literature students and Becknell can help history students to read literature as a type of primary source. As Diana discusses, it also provides a great opportunity for excellent teachers to learn from each other.

Watch Diana’s video (which also features philosophers Sara Shady and Don Postema and writing professor Marion Larson)

Ruben RiveraThen Ruben appears in a March 2010 conversation with youth ministry professor Karen McKinney and nursing professor Dave Muhovich, exploring connections among experiential learning, study abroad, and culturally responsive education. This panel was part of a project spearheaded by education professor Jay Rasmussen, “Engaged Teaching and Learning: Bethel Faculty in Action.” Participants were nominated by colleagues and administrators for their excellence in certain areas, filmed teaching students and being interviewed by Jay, asked to contribute a written reflection, and then to join others in the series in these panel discussions.

Ruben moderated this particular discussion, and started things off with a reflection on how he seeks to help his students become “culturally responsive” (or “proficient”) — e.g., as they interact with Muslims, or study the history of their own, increasingly global faith.

Watch Ruben’s video

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