Brian Gockley, manager of the Teaching and Learning Center, with visitors at the center's opening reception.

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell's Teaching and Learning Center officially opens its doors Thursday, Aug. 31.

Located on the first floor of Bertrand Library, the center's primary mission is to enhance teaching and learning at Bucknell.

"The center exists to foster collegial sharing of ideas for improving teaching and learning," said Provost Mary DeCredico. "The center will work closely with faculty and provide support for them to grow as educators and as successful teachers."

Future plans

Geoffrey Schneider, the center's faculty director, said in addition to providing support and resources for faculty development in teaching, the center plans in the future to support student learning. "The student learning component of the center will be explored more fully in the second and third years of operations," Schneider said.

The center also will provide a mentoring program to help new faculty adjust to their environment, personal and classroom teaching consultation, and, beginning in 2007, a teaching exchange in which experienced faculty open their classes to visits by other faculty members.

Each year, the center and the Faculty Advisory Committee on Teaching will sponsor workshops and programs related to teaching. Program topics will cover:

  • Service learning
  • Problem-based learning
  • Interdisciplinary teaching
  • Experiential learning
  • Using technology in the classroom
  • Managing classroom discussion

Civic engagement and service learning are among the areas the teaching and learning center, in conjunction with the service learning office, will provide workshop assistance to faculty. In these programs, Schneider said, faculty "to get our students out in the community. It's very hard to structure and takes a substantial time commitment, but the rewards are incredible."

Classroom environment

Another workshop focuses on classroom environment.

"A lot of us have been working to turn over more responsibility in the classroom to our students," said Schneider. "The result is a more student-centered active learning model of teaching. They determine some of the content, run most of the class, lead the discussion, and generate most of the questions. They are much more of a force in determining the direction of their education. With the right structure and practice, this approach can be truly enriching."

See Teaching and Learning Center for more information.

Posted Aug. 30, 2006

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