Fall 2008 & Spring 2009 Seminars
“Engaging Learners: Turning Challenges into Strategies”
Dr. Susan Riemer Sacks, Presenter
Professor of Psychology and Director of Education Initiatives
Barnard College, Columbia University
Friday, November 14, 2008
1:00pm to 4:00pm
Center for Innovative Technology
Briefing Room, 2214 Rock Hill Road
Herndon, VA 20170
Professor Susan Riemer Sacks plans an active session where colleagues work together to address dilemmas they confront in the classroom or college. A model for challenge-solving and option-seeking will be discussed and implemented.
Professor Sacks will provide several cases or vignettes for group consideration. Participants should also come prepared to describe briefly a current, student-related dilemma. Participants will leave with new strategies and approaches to handle the challenges they face during the academic year.
In this interactive seminar, we will address the following questions:
· What are the major challenges which hinder student progress?
· How can faculty help students balance work and school commitments?
· How can faculty handle achievement and test taking anxiety?
· What are techniques for engaging reticent students?
· How can we enhance student motivation? Commitment?
· What approaches work best for generating discussions?
· What are the options for measuring mastery of material?
· What really facilitates learning?
In this session we look forward to renewing faculty and staff energy to deal with issues they confront throughout the academic year.
About the Presenter
Susan Riemer Sacks, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Director of Education Initiatives at Barnard College. In 2005, she was named Professor of Education Emerita when she retired as Director of the Education Program which she chaired for over 30 years. Today, she continues to teach her signature Educational Psychology course and a senior seminar on Adolescent Psychology. From 1993 until 2003, she directed the Institute for Urban Education, which involved seventh grade and college students and teachers studying forest ecology in New York City and at Black Rock Forest. Professor Sacks helped write and gain funding for the Bronx High School of Law and Finance, a New Visions/New Century small school, which she serves as Barnard’s liaison. In 2003, she founded the New Teacher Network which meets bi-monthly to support urban teachers.
Her research and publications involve the study of women and girls making transitions from students to teachers, from teachers to mentors, from pre-teens to thirteen, from dependent to interdependent. She has continually studied the psychological factors which support self-determined change. Her current work examines girls’ and boys’ attitudes in science classrooms, and she has helped implement a science curriculum to study the effects of pollution using sandtank models of plumeflow.
Two recent works include: “Urban Hurdles and Creative Strategies: Striving to Teach the Children” in Taking Teaching Seriously, 2007, edited by C. Bjork, D.K. Johnston, and H. Ross, Paradigm Publishers; and "Seeking the Right Fit: From Training Bras to Self-Identity, Adolescents’ Search for Self," a paper presented at St. Anne’s College at Oxford University, Oxford, England, July 2006.
As a licensed psychologist, Sacks has led women’s groups, completed post doctoral study in group psychotherapy, and used her skills for participative, feminist classrooms. She has served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Studies Department, as Chair of the Open Symposium of Research in Psychology and Women of the American Psychological Association, Div. 35; and as Coordinator of the first Scholar and Feminist Conference at Barnard in 1973. She was elected into the Hall of Fame for Cleveland Heights High School and for the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She has devoted her efforts at Barnard to teaching and to educating teachers for urban classrooms to be equipped and knowledgeable about the psychology of learning and development and sensitive to the needs of students for equity and fairness.
For more information, please contact:
Rosalyn M. King, Chair, at email@example.com, 703-450-2629;
or, your Campus Representatives:
James Baer and Mary Hanrahan (NVCC-AL); Gerald Boyd, Trudy Gillevet, and Nan Peck (NVCC-AN); Chris Blake (NVCC-LO); Laura Bhadra and Pat Lazzarino (NVCC-MA); Patricia Ottavio (NVCC-MEC); Barbara Gershman and Barbara Marotta (NVCC-WO); Joan Trabandt (ELI); Randy Beckham and Terry Rooker (GCC-Fredericksburg & Locust Grove); Nicole Martin, Curtis Morgan and Joan Osborne (LFCC).
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