Mapping Concepts

This activity organizes course readings around central terms, leading to a discussion of authors' positions as they pertain to the terms. Ahead of time, the instructor compiles a list of the technical or abstract terms that have arisen over the course of a few weeks.  Students are asked to bring copies of the syllabus to class.  Then the instructor pairs students up, directing them to match the articles they've read with the crucial terms they should be acquainted with.  Once these connections are in place, the class comes back together and discusses how the articles, framed by the terms, themselves form positions in dispute around central questions or rival answers.  If terms are ambiguous, or ambiguously used by different authors, this will helpfully come out; and then disagreement and disambiguation follow.