As a student, a lot of the best discussions I’ve had related to research or education has been with friends at a restaurant. We have a couple of drinks and soon we are talking about the meaning of life (42, in case you didn’t know) or how to define a certain construct. Or, we converse about the importance of social justice and what can be done, both realistically and ideally. We recently held a “Beerstorm” where the different psychology areas (who traditionally don’t interact that much with each) came together and shared ideas in a very informal setting. It was FANTASTIC! So many great ideas thrown around, and potential research collaborations are likely going to occur.
In graduate school, it is common for parties to be held at the homes of professors, or for people to drink and eat and then to discuss projects or something else. In fact, it is expected and encouraged. Technically, we are crossing “boundaries” in some sense.
I wonder if i would be acceptable to have a more informal meeting with students outside of the classroom. Maybe not necessarily drinks and dinner, but why not tell students to meet at a coffee bar. I can obviously see all the potential issues, but why shouldn’t learning take place in a more natural settings. I think it makes a lot of sense.
I’d love to hear thoughts.