2009 AAC&U Annual Meeting

January 21 – 24, 2009

The The AAC&U Partnership with PKAL was visible at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in Seattle (January 21 – 24, 2009), and those coming to that meeting were invited to participate in:

  • The intersection of SUSTAINABILITY: Place, Responsibilities, and the Curriculum is explored in a day-long Pre-Meeting Symposium (January 21). Considering this intersection requires perspectives that cut across disciplines, the curriculum, and student life. Educating for sustainability, in other words, is a case study for liberal education. Institutions increasingly recognize the need to engage the challenges of sustainability. As they pursue goals of linking student learning, place, and social responsibility; however, they often find the pathways are poorly mapped. Participants of the symposium will join in exploring and mapping this exciting integrative endeavor, including attention to: High Impact Educational Practices— First Year Seminars, Learning Communities, Writing Intensive Courses, and Collaborative Projects; Science as Science is Done— students experience science “in the making” and tie scholarship to public policy choices; Advanced Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry— big questions focus students work across disciplines, with faculty, on problems that require multiple perspectives and investigation for their solution; Curricular and Co-Curricular integration around sustainability. The Keynote speaker is Stephanie Pfirman, Hirschorn Professor and Chair of Environmental Science, Barnard College, she will discuss: Education for Sustainability: Engaging Understanding, Self-Efficacy, and Responsibility in Faculty and Students. Jeanne L. Narum is assisting in facilitating the symposium.

  • Pedagogies of Engagement and Collaborative Initiatives (Thursday, 10:45 a.m.)
    Academic and corporate communities agree on the urgent need for contemporary, research-based pedagogies of engagement in STEM fields. Participants will learn how leaders from academic departments and institutions have collaborated with leaders from the corporate and business community in regional networks to ensure that graduates meet the expectations of prospective employers and the public. Such graduates must demonstrate higher-order thinking skills and the ability to solve problems within diverse, multidisciplinary teams. Collaborating partners within PKAL’s NSF-funded Pedagogies of Engagement Initiative will share their experiences and lead discussion.
    Discussion Leaders: Judith Greiman, President, Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges; Jeanne L. Narum, Director, Project Kaleidoscope; James Swartz, Dack Professor of Chemistry, Grinnell College

  • Leadership in Shaping Interdisciplinary STEM Learning Environments (Thursday, 2:45 p.m.)
    Achieving an effective interdisciplinary (ID) environment for undergraduate STEM learning requires attention to: programmatic implications of an ID curriculum; institutional policies for building a faculty, developing budgets, shaping spaces; and understanding how people learn in such environments. Participants will explore promising practices in establishing introductory ID courses; developing ID programs such as environmental science, health and society; and creating institution-wide ID initiatives. Panelists will discuss lessons learned from the PKAL ID Initiative, funded by the Keck Foundation.
    Panelists: Susan Elrod, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director, Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education, California Polytechnic State University; Michael Kerchner, Associate Professor of Psychology, Washington College; Stephanie Pfirman, Hirschorn Professor and Chair of Environmental Science, Barnard College

  • An informal dialogue about PKAL: past, present, and future (Thursday, 8:00-9:00 p.m.)