Mayo's Clinics

Apr 29, 2017, 4:21

Mayo’s Clinic: Honoring Differences in Our Classrooms

Recognizing and respecting differences among people is characteristic of our industry, and a reality in most workplaces. In the classroom, honoring differences also creates a positive environment where everyone is welcome and feels safe and included.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed ways to promote diversity in our classrooms, a continuing challenge for many of us, especially when it involves more than just focus on different foods, in itself a great activity. This month, we will discuss honoring and celebrating differences—moving beyond recognizing diversity to making special notice of ways in which people are distinguished, one from another.

Reasons for Honoring
There are many reasons to honor individual differences, not the least of which is making the classroom a positive environment where everyone is welcome, everyone feels safe, and everyone feels included. In addition, honoring differences is characteristic of this industry, and a reality in most kitchens, restaurants and hotels. And as a way of contributing to the growth of the profession, we need to role model accepting and honoring differences.

Several Strategies
In trying to honor differences, I practice three of four different strategies: learning and using students’ correct names, remembering and mentioning particular details of their lives, publically recognizing aspects of their lives, and organizing groups that recognize the range of differences.

Mayo’s Clinic: Promoting Diversity in our Classrooms

Creating a culture that recognizes differences in a positive manner is a key element of good teaching and an important strategy for making every student feel safe and secure while encouraging learning.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed ways to encourage critical thinking by using executive summaries and abstracts. This month and next, we will focus on issues of difference and diversity. In some ways, these topics are a natural follow-up to discussions of critical thinking since teaching about differences and diversity is about changing or broadening people’s minds and actions. It also helps them improve their perceptual and assessment skills.

Differences and Diversity
Increasingly, the membership of our classrooms has changed to include a wide range of students from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of interests. The fascination of the culinary world and its prominent status, on the one hand, and the recessionary economy, on the other, has brought students into our programs who might never have been there before. In fact, the range of differences among our students can include any of the following (in alphabetical order to point out that no one difference is more important than another):

Mayo’s Clinic: Encouraging Critical Thinking with Executive Summaries and Abstracts

Asking students to prepare abstracts or executive summaries of documents they have read encourages separating an article into its relevant parts, synthesizing information from various sections, and describing it in a clear and well-organized manner.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed the value of writing annotated bibliographies as a way to encourage students to read articles—both in scholarly journals and trade publications—and other documents critically. This month, we will discuss the merits of assigning executive summaries and abstracts as ways to encourage critical thinking.

Differences between Executive Summaries and Abstracts
Although both abstracts and executive summaries provide information about the article to which they are attached, they serve very different purposes.

Mayo’s Clinic: Encouraging Critical Thinking with Annotated Bibliographies

For many students, composing a bibliography with correct citations is a difficult accomplishment, but it needn’t be thanks to the rule of three: Cite, summarize and assess.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed the value of writing white papers, a different kind of assignment. For the next few months, we will focus on critical thinking, something we all value and many of us work to incorporate in our teaching and in our assignments.

This month, we will discuss the value of assigning annotated bibliographies as a way to encourage critical reading and writing. Next month, we will explain how requiring abstracts and executive summaries can serve a similar purpose and remind students not to absorb everything they find in print as the truth.

The Structure of an Annotated Bibliography
For many students, composing a bibliography with correct citations is a difficult accomplishment. Making them write an annotated bibliography, which some of them have never seen, extends the challenge. However, it does not need to be so difficult if you remember the rule of three (or CSA); there are three parts to an annotated bibliography: the citation, the summary and the assessment—Cite, Summarize and Assess.

Mayo’s Clinic: White Papers as Writing Assignments

fredmayoAssigning students to write a white paper can help them focus on an audience, develop an appropriate voice, learn to make a solid case with evidence and conduct careful research.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed the value of old-fashioned writing assignments, such as notes, journals and reflective papers instead of blogs. This month, we will review the value of using white papers as thoughtful and effective assignments for students.

History of White Papers
White papers have historically been used for a range of purposes, most commonly to persuade decision makers to adopt a policy or consider a new program or a set of strategies. In many situations, they were background papers to provide an in-depth analysis of a situation, event or potential development so that key executives had the information to make better decisions. Sometimes, they were just background documents; often, they contained recommendations for decisions and information about implementation steps. They were typically written for a specific audience and crafted to make a persuasive case backed by strong evidence.