Teaching Consultants Invited Speaker Program

Steven VolkSteven VolkEach year, the Teaching Consultants have an opportunity to invite a guest speaker to Brown. This annual professional development event is coordinated by graduate students in line with their interests. Sheridan Teaching Consultants also have the opportunity to participate in a master class with the invited guest.






Invited Speakers, 2011- present

Amy Vollmer
Professor and Chair of Microbiology at Swarthmore College and the President of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.
“Teaching enjoyably:  liberating yourself from unnecessary constraints”
Amy Cheng Vollmer has been teaching Biology in a small liberal arts college setting for 30 years. She shared three major pieces of advice applicable to all disciplines: put the focus on the audience, don't be a slave to the syllabus, and know that giving up control can be liberating and allow you to play to your strengths.  

Daniel Barbezat
Professor of Economics at Amherst College & Executive Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in the Society
"Contemplative Pedagogy & the Transformation of Education"
Prof. Barbezat delivered a lecture exploring how contemplative pedagogy can be a powerful way in which we can work together to reclaim the transformative nature of education.  He described the ways in which first-person critical inquiry can cultivate better discernment and attention in students, provide the means for deepening their understanding of the material they are studying, and foster environments to inquire about and live meaningfully. 

Steven Volk
Professor of History & Director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence, Oberlin College, and 2011 US Professor of the Year 
“Building an Imagined Future: Teaching as Architecture”
Using architecture and construction as an extended metaphor for teaching, Prof. Volk probed the challenges of teaching, which is a creative and imaginative act rooted in the present but directed to the future.  In his talk Prof. Volk suggested a few approaches that have proven to be highly productive in his own teaching; he engaged in a larger discussion on how to make the most of on-site learning.

José Feito
Professor of Psychology, Saint Mary’s College of California
“How Class Discussions Help Students Learn”
This workshop explored Prof. Feito’s insights from his ongoing research investigating the development of intellectual community and collaborative discourse within seminar classes. Potential conceptual models for understanding students’ cognitive and social work within classroom discussions were explored. These models were intended to offer new ways to parse the complex flurry of student discussion and arrive at a deeper understanding of the kinds of learning that we hope to facilitate through this type of pedagogy.