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Who Are You Wearing? Using the Red-Carpet Question Pedagogically
Unformatted Document Text:  As mentioned, part of the “closet experiment” is to have the students write a short essay. The guidelines I have used for this are to pose the essay as a reflective essay, dealing with the topics of “What did you find interesting or surprising about this?” and “How does this fit with material we have covered in class?” Generally, this serves as one of three short essays the students will write over the course of the class (3-5 pages being “short”), and amounts to roughly 5% of their grade allocation (per short essay). The essay is designed to give the students an additional purpose behind the data gathering experiment, which allows them to proceed to the analysis portion of data gathering as a scientific enterprise (i.e., the ‘So What?’ part of the process). The goal of this is to get students to internalize some of what they have done, as well as situate their own experience with others in the class. I had more than one student express surprise at the sheer number of clothes they owned, and several were intrigued by the interesting (or perhaps strange) places that their clothes actually came from. In any case, this did prove useful in getting additional feedback from students and providing them with another opportunity to analyze their data after having gotten initial feedback from the classroom discussion. Students were better able to “own” some of the content of the class from this point forward, as the material became more personal. C. Case Study & Focused Discussion A common component of my classes is to use case studies as a shared reading around which to build discussion. This is a widely used method of teaching and learning in business schools, graduate schools, and university settings, that was pioneered by the Harvard Business School (a good tidbit to mention if students seem skeptical of being part of this!). For the most part, I select cases from the Institute for the Study of 7

Authors: Carlson, Jon.
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As mentioned, part of the “closet experiment” is to have the students write
a short essay. The guidelines I have used for this are to pose the essay as a reflective
essay, dealing with the topics of “What did you find interesting or surprising about this?”
and “How does this fit with material we have covered in class?” Generally, this serves as
one of three short essays the students will write over the course of the class (3-5 pages
being “short”), and amounts to roughly 5% of their grade allocation (per short essay).
The essay is designed to give the students an additional purpose behind the data
gathering experiment, which allows them to proceed to the analysis portion of data
gathering as a scientific enterprise (i.e., the ‘So What?’ part of the process). The goal of
this is to get students to internalize some of what they have done, as well as situate their
own experience with others in the class. I had more than one student express surprise at
the sheer number of clothes they owned, and several were intrigued by the interesting (or
perhaps strange) places that their clothes actually came from. In any case, this did prove
useful in getting additional feedback from students and providing them with another
opportunity to analyze their data after having gotten initial feedback from the classroom
discussion. Students were better able to “own” some of the content of the class from this
point forward, as the material became more personal.
C. Case Study & Focused Discussion
A common component of my classes is to use case studies as a shared
reading around which to build discussion. This is a widely used method of teaching and
learning in business schools, graduate schools, and university settings, that was pioneered
by the Harvard Business School (a good tidbit to mention if students seem skeptical of
being part of this!). For the most part, I select cases from the Institute for the Study of
7


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