Friday @ the Center
January 14, 2011
The New Jim Crow
The Perkins Center invites you to attend a community lecture and Q & A Session with Professor Michelle Alexander where she will discuss ways that legal segregation disproportionately targets African-Americans as presented in her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
The community lecture will be held at Mount Zion Baptist Church on January 24, 2011, at 7 p.m. The question and answer session will be held in Upper Gwinn on January 25, 2011, at 1 p.m. You may read more about Michelle Alexander and her visit to Seattle on the Perkins Center Website. A commentary of her book by Kerry Dearborn is also available in the Autumn 2010 Perkins Perspective.
Engaged STEM Learning
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
March 24-26, 2011
Deadline for registration best deal March 2nd.
Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), in partnership with AAC&U, announces the 2011 Network for Academic Renewal conference, Engaged STEM Learning: From Promising to Pervasive Practices. This interactive, hands-on conference will help campuses adapt, scale up, and sustain effective practices in STEM teaching and learning. The conference is designed for participants who wish to develop faculty and institutional leadership in STEM reform, broaden student participation and success in STEM fields, better assess engaged STEM learning in both the majors and general education, and connect the revitalization of STEM learning with ongoing campus work in Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP).
Writing Through the Eyes of a Reader
Does it sometimes feel like you are Bill Murray’s character in an academic version of Groundhog Day, grading the same papers and providing the same feedback at the end of each quarter? Kristin Gehsmann, of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, experienced the same frustrations when she decided to move away from telling students what she wanted to see in writing to showing them examples from prior students’ papers. After securing permission from her students who were in previous sections, she removes any identifying information and provides copies of well and poorly written examples to her classes. She reviews the papers in class having her students look for a clear statement of purpose, strong organizational structure, effective grammar, etc. She then asks the students to imagine they are grading the poorly written paper and provide feedback to its author. She also uses the well-written paper as an exemplar when students want to understand why they received an unexpected lower grade. Professor Gehsmann has seen marked improvement in her students’ writing since she began using this method. As one of her student’s wrote in her course evaluation, “The rubrics you provide us tell us what you expect but the benchmark papers show us."
So where do I get these kinds of tips? This tip comes from the monthly newsletter, The Teaching Professor. It is a mere eight pages long and includes six or seven summaries of peer reviewed journal articles for teaching and evaluating student learning each month. At $89 per year it is a decent investment of professional development funds.
Margaret Diddams, Ph.D.