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Well...I have a crazy idea, everyone.  Disclaimer: I'm a wet-behind-the-ears
LIS school graduate; I have very little cataloging experience compared to
everyone else on this board.
Why not reverse the order when teaching coding to a Cataloging class-- that
is, why not teach RDA, and then AACR2?  Or, better yet, why not start from a
very general, basic concept of what coding is for, and then lead on into a
comparison of the two?  If students can grasp why these two standards exist
to begin with (i.e., to minimize differences between records and make them
easier to find across platforms), it will be easier for them to grasp
why changes
had to be made from one standard to the other.  By pointing out the concepts
behind the change and the function of both sets, the large, contrasting
differences between RDA and AACR2 will help students learn how to display
their cataloging information, rather than providing confusion.

-Jennifer Parsons