September 25, 2010
This summer, Newsweek reported on evidence showing a long-term decline in creativity among Americans — and on how problem- and project-based learning strategies can help reverse the trend:
Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”
. . . . .
Around the world, though, other countries are making creativity development a national priority. In 2008 British secondary-school curricula—from science to foreign language—was revamped to emphasize idea generation, and pilot programs have begun using Torrance’s test to assess their progress. The European Union designated 2009 as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, holding conferences on the neuroscience of creativity, financing teacher training, and instituting problem-based learning programs—curricula driven by real-world inquiry—for both children and adults. In China there has been widespread education reform to extinguish the drill-and-kill teaching style. Instead, Chinese schools are also adopting a problem-based learning approach.
Read the full article here: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html
September 17, 2010
Assessing Teaching for Yourself and Others
Monday, Oct 4, 11:30 – 12:45
Duffy 114 Conference Room
The New Faculty Seminar is meant to continue the discussions begun at New Faculty Orientation about teaching and the other professional obligations of new faculty at Stonehill — as well as to provide new faculty a “safe” place for discussing their experiences (good and bad) throughout the year.
About a month into the semester, you might be wondering what exactly your students are thinking about your class. So this month we’ll talk about methods for gathering formative feedback from your students and discuss strategies for taking some control of the teaching evaluation process: How do student evaluations work at Stonehill – and how do they “count”? How can I collect feedback to help me improve my teaching? What can I do now to start making the case for my teaching effectiveness?
September 15, 2010
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this summer about a new study from the University of Washington’s Information School on research paper handouts:
Most research-assignment handouts given to undergraduates fail to guide the students toward a comprehensive strategy for completing the work, according to two researchers at the University of Washington who are studying how students conduct research and find information.
And despite “seismic changes in the way that information is now created and delivered,” most such handouts call for a traditional research paper, the researchers say in a progress report on Project Information Literacy, a continuing national study based at the university’s Information School.
The researchers found that while handouts typically contain instructions on the mechanics of constructing a paper, few offer a full explanation of the research process.
Read the full Chronicle article here: http://chronicle.com/article/Research-Assignment-Handouts/123702/
And find the complete report here: http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Handout_Study_finalvJuly_2010.pdf
September 15, 2010
October 1st is the next deadline for the CTL’s Travel Pedagogy Grant. Proposals can be submitted online here.
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September 9, 2010
New and “Gently Used” Faculty Mixer
September 16, 2010
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
The New and “Gently Used’ Faculty Mixer is a chance to welcome this year’s new faculty and to reconnect with others in the earlier stages of their careers at Stonehill.
All faculty (full-time and part-time) who consider themselves “junior” are welcome to attend!
This year we’re holding the mixer in the Stonehill Room at Stoneforge Grill on Thursday, September 16th from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. We’ll provide snacks and appetizers, and you’ll be responsible for your own drinks.
Kindly RSVP to Patricia Neagle (email@example.com or x1324) if you’re planning to attend.
September 7, 2010
This week the Chronicle of Higher Education features a piece by Mary M. Reda, an Associate Professor of English at CUNY-Staten Island.
Titled “What’s the Problem With Quiet Students? Anyone? Anyone?” Reda’s article questions the assumption that quiet students are a “problem” to be fixed:
In this research, I was most surprised by what had been missing in my conversations with colleagues and had rarely emerged in all the reading I had done about student silence. It came down to this: Student silence isn’t necessarily a problem. Some students choose silence because it best fits their learning style, culture, or history.
Much contemporary pedagogy lauds the calls for “student voice” as empowering. But students who are, for example, visual learners, or whose home cultures have taught them to value speaking and silence differently than the contemporary culture of American higher education does, often benefit from the inclusion of silence in the curriculum. Recognizing that silence can be an active, generative space, those students agree with a small group of theorists who argue that silence can invite meditation, contemplation, and engagement. In other words, silence—along with dialogue—fosters learning.
Find the full article at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
And find Reda’s book about this research, Between Speaking and Silence: A Study of Quiet Students, in the CTL’s reading room
September 5, 2010
If you haven’t considered Twitter as an option to enhance your scholarly or classroom work, then you might read this ProfHacker blog on “How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To).” Ryan Cordell discusses how Twitter can be a useful tool for academics and gives some tips for getting started:
One of the most common dismissals of Twitter sounds something like this, “I don’t need to know what a bunch of people had for breakfast.” My response to this is always, “if that what you’re seeing on Twitter, you’re following the wrong people.” Twitter can help academics make and maintain connections with people in their fields, find out about interesting projects and research, or crowdsource questions and technical problems, but it can be difficult to know where to start. When you make a new account, you’re faced with an empty box that asks “What’s Happening?” and few useful suggestions for who to follow. Instead of following the celebrities Twitter often recommends to new users—celebrities who may well post about their breakfast choices—try these methods to start building your Twitter network.
Read the full article at the Chronicle of Higher Education.