Interested in How Students are Learning in the Classroom?

The MGSDII sat down with Visiting Israeli Professor, Luba Levin-Banchik, to discuss her teaching techniques. Read the interview below.

MGSDII: Jumping in, do you have any unique teaching styles, which lead to better learning in the classroom?

Luba: Funny you should ask. Just this week, thepolitical science students enrolled in my “Politics and Conflict” course participated in a jigsaw classroom. This is a fun and collaborative learning approach. Playing the roles of security analysts, students worked on assessment and policy recommendations for the current situation in the Middle East.

MGSDII: And how is this modeled in the classroom? What are students doing?

Luba: The class was first split into expert groups, which specialized in different aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Expert groups then were split again, with students having different expertises now collaborating and forming jigsaw groups. Working in jigsaw groups, students put together different pieces of the current security developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict and suggested policy recommendations to promote U.S. interests in the Middle East.

MGSDII: What have you learned throughout the years teaching in this way?

Luba: Actually, I first learned about the jigsaw technique at a workshop in the Center for Teaching and Learning at SDSU a few weeks ago. I realized that this is the technique I’ve been looking for! I think this is one of the best ways to teach such a complex topic as the Arab-Israeli conflict in a simple and fun manner. This was a hit in my class today. The students’ written takeaways were amazing.

MGSDII: Thank you so much, Luba. We look forward to future updates from your classroom.

Luba: Thank you for the opportunity to teach in San Diego. I am learning just as much as the students.