January 20 Teaching Symposium Will Focus on Development of Reflective Thinking

January 20 Teaching Symposium Will Focus on Development of Reflective Thinking: Essential Skills for Learning and Life


November 17, 2011


Contact:     Daemen College

                 Center for Excellence in

                 Teaching and Learning



When faculty are asked what they most want students to learn from their courses and college education, many express the hope that students will be empowered with the necessary skills for lifelong learning.  What are the skills needed for lifelong learning? How might we introduce explicit conversations about these skills into all of our courses? How can we nurture the

development of these skills?


On January 20, 2012, the Core Curriculum and the Daemen Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will co-sponsor the Sixth Annual Learning and Teaching Symposium, “Nurturing the Development of Reflective Thinking: Essential Skills for Learning and Life.” The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m in Wick Center Social Room, and is open to all Daemen faculty and administrators. The symposium will begin with Pecha Kucha presentations by faculty (Pecha Kucha is a concise, lively presentation format limited to 20 images and 20 seconds per slide). The symposium will be presented by Dr. Karl Wirth of Macalester College.


As early as 1933, John Dewey argued that reflective thinking “must be an educational aim.”  In a recent summary of research on how people learn, Bransford and others (2000) identify self-monitoring and reflecting (metacognition) on one’s own learning as one of three fundamental principles of learning.  Instruction about metacognitive knowledge and skills need not “displace” content, but instead can support and deepen disciplinary learning.  Following an introduction to metacognition and example activities designed to improve student learning and metacognition (knowledge surveys, reflective journaling, exam wrappers, critical thinking, and reading reflections), workshop participants will plan and deigns metacognitive actives and curricula for their own courses.


Dr. Karl Wirth teaches in the Geology Department at Macaester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and recently served as Associate Director of the Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching.  He serves as an elected councilor for the National Association of Geology Teachers; the Assessment Coordinator for the Keck Geology Consortium; and a Training Associate for the

IDEA Center.  


Dr. Wirth’s geosciences research efforts have focused on the application of trace elements and isotopic evidence to investigate questions about the origin and evolution of the Earth’s crust and lithosphere in Alaska, the Galapagos Archipelago, Tanzania, and the Lake Superior region.  His current education research interests focus on student motivation, attitudes, and values as part of the NSF-funded GARNET (Geoscience Affective Research NETwork) project.  Dr. Wirth is a graduate of Beloit College and earned his Ph. D. from Cornell University in 1990.


World of Opportunity Wizard

Wow! Daemen students & faculty travel abroad during the inter-semester break!

Faculty accompanied students to Mexico City and Cuernavaca for the January inter-semester term.

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