Just coming back from lunch, Dean Hume’s Newspaper Editors class engaged in a number of hands-on activities designed to get the students to apply various editing skills. The activities included pitching ideas to report on from around campus and making comments as a class on several stories published in student publications.
The student journalists are encouraged to contribute as much as they can to class discussions, with Hume leaving pauses in his sentences for his students to chime in, and also pointing to a wide array of large, white sheets of paper hung around the room with notes written in marker.
John Duly of Midland High School, said that this type of hands-on learning is a lot more productive than sitting in front of a PowerPoint, since it allows the students to take an active role.
“He’s making us come to the reasoning ourselves rather than just telling us,” Duly said.
Because the class is a synthesis of the ideas of all the students, the way in which Hume evaluates his students for the Sparty award, the award signalling the highest performance in a class, is different than most classes at the MIPA workshop, preferring to give his Sparty award to the class as a whole rather than an individual. He said this is because it wasn’t fair to evaluate people who are at different places and that he’s trying to teach them how to work together as editors.
“They are all building towards a common theme, and they’ll act like a staff,” Hume said.