Session 2: Gallery Walk
Charlene D'Avanzo introduces the concept of a gallery walk,
where groups of 3-4 people move around the room discussing, writing down
responses, and reacting to previous responses to different questions that
have been posted in various locations.
By asking participants to count off, Charlene divides the group into
approximately 16 smaller groups. Each small group then roams the room,
addressing in turn four separate questions: 1) when you were a student, what
teaching experiences worked best for you? 2) In your experience as a
student, what teaching approaches were not effective? 3) What kind of
student-active teaching have you done in your courses? 4) Give some examples
of student-active teaching (not only from your own courses). Click here for a summary of responses
Each group is given 10 minutes per question and at the end of the 40
minutes, participants return to their seats. Four volunteer participants
then attempt to summarize the various responses written down by each of the
A discussion of the gallery walk as an example itself of active learning
then ensues: What did the respondents get from the gallery walk and how did
they feel about it? Many people appreciated the walk as a chance to start
building community, to meet and talk with people they didn't yet know;
others commented on how the process of collaboration provided fertile soil
for critical thinking; stimulating ideas they wouldn't have perceived on
their own; still others commented on how the process of writing things down
forced them to better articulate their verbal communications.
Charlene then asks participants to imagine ways they might transfer the
concept of the gallery walk to the science classroom. Participants suggest a
range of approaches: how problems in different disciplines might be
addressed (e.g., a calculus problem), offering an explanation to a problem
for debate rather than a problem to solve, and assigning students the task
of coming up with questions/problems for the gallery walk.
The session concludes at noon.
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