Educational Studies Colloquium Series to explore impactful teaching practices

Kelly Summers and Daryl Dugas
Kelly Summers and Daryl Dugas

Organizers of the Professor Jean W. Pierce Educational Studies Colloquium Series are hoping to expand the audience across campus.

Daryl Dugas and Kelly Summers, members of the faculty in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, have scheduled faculty from both the College of Education and across campus for this spring’s presentations.

Meanwhile, in another change, those professors are not being asked to discuss their research.

Since its inception, the lecture series has focused on issues in school leadership; research on human learning and educational development; and critical examinations of historical, social and cultural factors that shape learners, teachers and educational institutions.

“We’ve had increasing conversations in our department about teaching and teaching effectiveness as well as more supports for faculty to improve their teaching,” Dugas says. “We’ve invited faculty recognized as being effective in the classroom to talk about the things they do well.”

Two speakers will talk at each colloquium. All have been honored excellence in teaching at NIU.

  • Friday, Feb. 15
    Jie Chen, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences, and Paul Dawkins, Department of Mathematical Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: “Engaging Students in Professional Learning by Raising the Right Questions.”
    (The event begins at 12:30 p.m. in Room 01D of the Gabel Hall Learning Center.)
  • Friday, March 22
    Emma Kuby, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, “Writing a Senior Thesis with My Students.”
    Kate Cady, Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, “Treating Students with Compassion.”
    (The event begins at 12:30 p.m. in Room 01D of the Gabel Hall Learning Center.)
  • Friday, April 26
    Mahesh Subramony, Department of Management, College of Business, topic TBA
    Toni Van Laarhoven, Department of Special and Early Education, College of Education, topic TBA
    (Location TBA)

“It’s valuable to have a diversity of experiences and a diversity of views,” Dugas says. “Someone from a math or a nursing background will think about teaching in a different way than I do.”

He hopes that audiences will gain “ideas to apply in their own classrooms, new ways of thinking about teaching and new ways of thinking about their students.” He also believes that the colloquia will open possibilities for cross-campus networking and collaboration.

Presenters, on the other hand, will enjoy the chance to talk about pedagogy.

“There are a lot of opportunities for academics to disseminate their research, but there are relatively fewer opportunities to disseminate your teaching practices, and this is an opportunity to do so,” Dugas says. “It’s also an opportunity for faculty who care a lot of about teaching to share that aspect of their professional lives with others, which I hope will enhance and encourage more good teaching across campus.”

The colloquium series is named in honor of Pierce, a professor emeritus of Educational Psychology who taught learning and cognition and who researched learner-centered practices and beliefs in higher education.

For more information, contact Dugas at ddugas@niu.edu or Summers at ksummers@niu.edu.

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