Dear Habermas Logo A Jeanne Site

Pass? or Prepared?

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 15, 2000
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Pass? or Prepared?

Teaching Series by Curran and Takata
Copyright: 2000. "Fair Use" encouraged.

Pass, like the law school "pass," means that you have not had a chance to prepare a passage that is to be discussed. "Pass" is a means of giving you some control over your own time frame. "Pass" means you are not prepared on that reading, and "Ali ali achen free," no one is entitled to fuss at you about that. You don't have to give a reason. You just say "pass," and we agree in good faith that you have not done that reading, and we make no judgments on that.

How many "passes" can you take? We're not even going to touch that one. The record speaks for itself. If you pass most of the time, you are stating publicly that you rarely prepare. Think about it.

Pass? or Prepared? has two primary purposes: (1) clarification for us all on assumptions we can make about what we all have read and (2) pre-discussion interactive lecture material.

  1. Clarification on Shared Readings

    By regularly recording your preparation we can all agree on what our general background preparation has been. This is one plausible way to state a traditionally unstated assumption, namely that we all had time to prepare before each class discussion. A quick check of the records will give you, as well as me, a pretty good idea of what we've all read. Since I put up the Readings, you can be pretty sure that I've read them. And a glance at the records will give you an idea of how many of your classmates have read them. Then we can base our assumption of shared knowledge on some actual data collection instead of on unstated assumptions.

    Because there will not be time enough for me to prepare as many of the Pass? or Prepared? pieces as I'd like this semester, and because we have attempted to introduce creative variation for individual students, Pass? or Prepared? E-Mail will serve as a measure of each online source you have prepared, and each hardcopy piece you have covered.

    Prepared and pass will be recorded by a link to the piece prepared. Only when I have clearly made the assumption that everyone will have read a given piece by placing it on the preparations list do you need to pass. Because we have made that assumption clear as a group, we need to know if it does not apply in this case.

    You do not need to send pass for each class. Just e-mail to which classes the pass applies, and for which readings, and I'll put it up.

  2. Pre-discussion materials. Zeigarnik effect.

    The Zeigarnik effect suggests that once you have struggled with a given piece of information by trying to remember it, by interacting with a question and answer in tyring to decide which is the best answer, that that piece of material is embedded more effectively in your memory. The Pass? or Prepared? materials have been designed with the Zeigarnik effect in mind. Please cooperate by using them, and by looking to all the explanations for why some answers were wrong, as well as for why the best answer was chosen as the best.

    Most of the first Pass? or Prepared? materials are complex. I will try to vary the difficulty, and provide a rating of difficulty, as the semester goes on. I would appreciate comments on that aspect of these materials. Would you like more difficult pre-discussion materials? Less difficult pre-discussion materials? Do you perceive that they help you to remember the concepts better? And so on. These are some of the things about which you can comment in 25 words or so.