Doris R. Jakobsh

Professor of Religious Studies

Doris R. JakobshI strongly believe that teaching is a multi-layered process. In the university classroom in particular, we can make opportunities to learn from one another, both students and the professor. I utilize a variety of teaching strategies that foster deep learning and analytical skills that will be useful to students when they graduate, but also that acknowledge that students have both strengths and weaknesses in their learning and output styles. In other words, instead of one major research assignment, my courses generally include 5-6 varied assignments. For example, in-class or online group discussions are central to every class I teach. This allows students to both connect with one another vis-à-vis the reading or visual materials they are discussing, but also to learn from the experiences, commonalities and differences they may have from one another in terms of religio-cultural backgrounds, aspects which often play a central role in religion courses.  Students also do class presentations within groups. Here they are encouraged to utilize music, poetry and visual images that allow for a more encompassing, sensate-focused teaching and learning experience along with a rigorous reading of scholarly articles.Group presentations prepare students for the post-graduation world in which collaboration and group strategizing play a central role.Written assignments include a focus on a particular novel as one of the course texts, so students get an opportunity to learn about religious realities, lived religion per se, that allows for a more complex understanding of religion beyond that learned from a textbook or scripture. These novel studies are then bolstered by more traditional approaches that include research and analysis.      

University of Waterloo

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