Isenberg's silent style
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.
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.
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.
write: Paul Strauss, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., 14 W.
Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would be happy to share any responses.