This summer, we are pleased to welcome two visiting scholars who will be working on projects related to recent initiatives in the FIC.Dr. Anne-Marie Schultz (Philosophy, Baylor University) will be visiting the FIC with the support of a Big XII Faculty Fellowship from Baylor. The purpose of Dr. Schultz's visit is to explore two different aspects of her work with Platonic dialogues as pedagogical development for faculty and staff with the aim of developing programming that can be used by faculty at both Baylor and UT-Austin. These programs would help faculty reassess how they teach their graduate level topic-oriented seminars and their graduate student teacher-training practicums. Dr. Shultz has been interested in how Plato’s dialogues can be used to shape the contemporary graduate classroom experience for many years, especially the ways in which the graduate teaching seminar in the Philosophy Department has been structured. Based on the success of integrating a pedagogical focus into a graduate course that focused on Platonic dialogues, she decided to flip the idea. According to Dr. Schultz:
"I started the first three weeks of our pedagogy class by having the students read some salient passages from the Platonic dialogues together (Book I of The Republic, The Allegory of the Cave, Socrates’s account of testing the oracle in The Apology, and Socrates’s death scene in the Phaedo). I modelled how I teach Plato to undergraduates and we began our study of how to become excellent classroom educators by grounding our experience in reading Plato together as a class. Our methodological discussions over the semester were richer because we started with this shared content experience of reading Plato’s dialogues together. I used Platonic pedagogy as a model to talk about active student engagement and conversation as a form of learning. I employed Socrates’s view that 'the unexamined life is not worth living' to talk about student well-being in a variety teaching contexts. This notion of the examined life can be interpreted both as mindfulness in the classroom and universal design for learning (UDL) principles. I will share details of this teacher-training model and receive feedback from the colleagues in the Faculty Innovation Center."
Also visiting the FIC this summer will be Irais Monserrat (Monse) Santillan Rosas. Monse is a graduate student in Education at Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) who is able to join the FIC under the auspices of a scholarship from the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico. She will be conducting research for several chapters of her dissertation, entitled "Education for Sustainable Development in Digital Learning Strategies." Monse's work emerged through an analysis of UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Focusing on elements of the SDGs that address education for sustainable development, Monse designed a pre-post instrument that has been adapted to the format and scope of a series of massive online courses that have been running in Mexican universities for the last two years, collecting data, analyzing the trends of the participants depending on their profile, and, through interviews, identifying areas of opportunity that students identified during their online experience. The final objective of her dissertation, in addition to sharing these findings, is to make available to other researchers these questionnaires and tools so that they can be adapted and improved, allowing new online courses that focus on sustainable development to evaluate their interventions that seek to elevate the perception that their students have about sustainability in a global context. In addition to discussing UT's Global Classroom initiative as a related effort, Monse is interested in developing a proposal for the TECH 2019 conference as well as advancing her work in the MGIEP #KindnessMatters Campaign. As an official ambassador for the campaign in Mexico, Monse has helped collect over 250,000 from around the world where the SDGs were applied through acts of kindness. During the summer, she will continue to solicit stories that can be published on the UNESCO MGIEP website.