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Lectures, Classrooms, and Students

Lectures, Classrooms, and Students

(p.85) Chapter Four Lectures, Classrooms, and Students
Becoming Mead
Daniel R. Huebner
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 analyzes the classroom instruction of George Herbert Mead, beginning with the composition and diversity of Mead’s students. The chapter makes the case that Mead repeatedly attempted to produce intimate environments where he could work face-to-face with interested students who impacted his teaching. Mead’s students made a variety of notes in his courses, but even the most complete records cannot obviate the interpretive problems of using such written materials to reconstruct his speech. Instead, the chapter relies on case studies to identify the disparate purposes served by Mead’s courses in the social lives of his students. In particular the concepts and perspectives outlined in the classes became points of orientation in students’ various personal projects. Special focus is given to two detailed studies of Mead’s students W. I. Thomas and John B. Watson, who had long-term influences on Mead. These studies together direct attention to “intellectual projects,” the collective undertakings of scholarship that bring individuals together around common plans or goals. The chapter demonstrates that the dynamics of the formation and articulation of ideas are especially visible in these relationships between scholars and their students and colleagues.

Keywords:   George Herbert Mead, lecture, intellectual project, lecture notes, pedagogy, behaviorism, John Broadus Watson, William Isaac Thomas

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