Teaching moments

Energetic listening

When I arrived at Yale more than 30 years ago to do graduate work in theology, I soon heard other students urging that I take a course with David Kelsey. Even as an undergraduate I had already learned an important lesson: to get the best education, don’t pay much attention to the topics of the courses; find out who the good teachers are and take whatever they happen to be teaching. So I soon signed up for a Kelsey seminar.

He remains the best discussion leader I’ve ever encountered. Most remarkable was his ability to make clear the structure of a discussion. “Student A made this point, but ten minutes ago Student B made that point. They would seem to be in contradiction. But back at the beginning of class Student C made another point. Does that offer a way out?”


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