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Applying Learning Sciences to Our Teaching

As Silvia Bunge reminded us in her 2015 Excellence in Teaching Day keynote, our students’ learning habits — as well as the teaching habits many of us have inherited — are not always well-suited to help students realize their full potential in the classroom. Luckily, recent findings from cognitive psychology and other learning sciences suggest ways to help students learn more effectively by developing empowering capacities such as metacognition, motivation, reflection, and self-agency.  The “Applying Learning Sciences to Our Teaching” cohort invites faculty to participate in a year-long collaborative inquiry into this fruitful intersection of theory and practice. Participants will each identify a learning problem common to the courses they teach and then experiment with implementing different pedagogical responses to that problem, informed by the learning science literature.

The 2019-20 participants include:

  • Juliana Belding (Mathematics)
  • Jessica Black (SSW)  
  • Dominic Doyle (STM)
  • Joyce Edmonds (CSON)
  • Sarah Ehrich (English)  
  • Martha Hincks (English)     
  • Anna Karpovsky (CSOM)
  • Cherie McGill (Philosophy)
  • Raquel Muñiz (LSEHD)  
  • Heather Olins (Biology)
  • Tracy Regan (Economics)

Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice

As institutions of higher education welcome increasingly diverse student bodies and seek to expand the diversity of perspectives reflected in their curricula, faculty can sometimes struggle to carve out classroom spaces that support all students as they strive to meet their learning goals. The question of inclusion and social justice in the classroom has implications for all parts of our practice: pedagogical approach, classroom interaction, and curriculum development.

The “Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice” cohort invites faculty to participate in a year-long inquiry into this complex pedagogical puzzle. All participants are asked to identify at least one new pedagogical strategy they want to implement in one of their courses meant to improve either the inclusiveness of their course content or their classroom climate. We seek faculty from a range of disciplines to participate, particularly those whose subject matter doesn’t necessarily lend itself to discussions of “diversity.” Although we welcome a broad definition of inclusion and justice in this conversation, we focus most of our emphasis around questions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and ability.

The 2019-20 participants include:

  • Nadia Abuelezam (CSON)  
  • Andrea Crow (English)
  • Lisa Cuklanz (Communication)
  • Natana DeLong-Bas (Theology)   
  • Laura Hake (Biology)  
  • Cal Halvorsen (SSW)
  • Stacie Kent (History)  
  • Jim Mahalik (LSEHD)
  • Karen Miller (History & African and African Diaspora Studies)   
  • Greer Muldowney (Art, Art History, and Film)  
  • Cassie Ryan (WCAS/CSON)
  • Jenna Tonn (History)