Effective Teaching in Multicultural Society Focus of TRC's January Workshop

December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010 — The Teaching Resource Center's annual January Teaching Workshop at the University of Virginia will explore ideas and methods about effective teaching in a multicultural society, as part of the 2011 University and community celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

The workshop, to be held Jan. 18 in Monroe Hall, opens with a public lecture by guest speaker Kathryn M. Plank, associate director of the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Ohio State University. It will include a half-day series of interactive sessions, where faculty and graduate students can share and learn specific teaching strategies for creating engaging and inclusive classrooms to help all students learn.

Plank will give her plenary session speech, "Diversity in the Classroom as a Path to Better Learning," from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Monroe Hall, room 130.

"Our classrooms include more diversity than we often realize," she said. "Sometimes this fact is seen as a challenge, but it also provides a great opportunity for teaching and learning. In this interactive session, we will explore the role diversity plays in our teaching and how recognizing and including diversity can lead to improved student learning."

Concurrent sessions, scheduled between 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., include:

• Panel discussion: Engaging Students in Large Courses
Panelists: Amori Mikami, assistant professor of psychology; Deborah Roach, associate professor of biology; Gary Gallagher, professor of history, all with the College of Arts & Sciences
Moderator: Michael Palmer, associate professor of chemistry and assistant director of the Teaching Resource Center
Monroe Hall, room 130

In this workshop, three award-winning teachers will share a short lesson from their classes and discuss ways they engage students in large-enrollment courses. They'll discuss the unique aspects of teaching in this environment and explore effective ways to promote learning.

• The Art of Listening: A Powerful Teaching Technique
Edith "Winx" Lawrence, professor of clinical and school psychology in the Curry School of Education and director of the Young Women Leaders Program
Monroe Hall, room 124

While teachers hope students have developed listening skills good enough to take in the gems they share in class, a teacher's listening skills are just as important. Borrowing from research on relationship conflict, this workshop will focus on what interferes with good listening, why it's an important teaching skill and some simple ways to improve.

• Looking to Learn
Deandra Little, associate professor of English in the College and assistant director of the Teaching Resource Center
Monroe Hall, Room 116

Research into human learning demonstrates the power of visuals in shaping understanding of the world. Sighted individuals process visual images more quickly than text and rely on them more heavily, even when they contradict conceptual knowledge. As images become more a part of our teaching and research across disciplines, we need to consider their use outside traditionally visually oriented fields. This session will explore techniques that can help students learn to look more carefully and more critically and discuss ways to adapt these to different disciplines and learning goals.

• The Inclusive Classroom: Further Discussion
Kathryn M. Plank, associate director of the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Ohio State University
Monroe Hall, Room 134

Plank will lead a discussion continuing to explore the role diversity plays in teaching and how recognizing and including diversity can lead to improved student learning.

• Lunch Discussions: Views from the Other Side of the Desk
12:30-1:30 p.m., Monroe Hall, Room 124 
Pre-registered participants can pick up a boxed lunch in the lobby and join colleagues to listen and discuss student perspectives on teaching, learning and inclusive classrooms.

The workshop is sponsored by the Teaching Resource Center and the Curry School of Education Faculty Diversity Committee, through grant funding from the Commission on the Future of the University.

Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications