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Query: Isenberg's silent style

I am doing some research on Professor Meyer ("Mike") Isenberg, AB'35, PhD'40, and his teaching style. A member of the classics department, he taught in the College as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor from 1946 through the '70s. He died in 1983.

As a University High student, I took an introductory humanities course from Professor Isenberg in 1973-74. In the course, he used a teaching style that I have not seen used in any other course: he would ask a question and then wait, letting the class sit in silence, until a student arrived at the correct answer. Each of his questions had a correct answer. Most of the questions boiled down to one variation or another of, "Why is this here, is in the text?" My sense is that this method-asking a question and then waiting in silence for a correct answer-may have been widely used in the College at one time, but was out of style by the 1970s.

I'm interested in hearing from alumni who took a course or did graduate work with Professor Isenberg and colleagues who recall him. I am also interested in hearing from anyone who remembers other professors using the same teaching method-not just a question-and-answer method, but one that allowed for long periods of silence.

Please write: Paul Strauss, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., 14 W. Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610, or e-mail: pstrauss@lawmgb.com. I would be happy to share any responses.

Paul L. Strauss
Chicago


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