Distinguished Faculty Workshop Series – 15F#1 Prof Bob Duke

To provide a unique professional development opportunity for student educators on campus I have developed a new plan at the Sanger Learning Center at UGS this semester: Distinguished Faculty Workshop Series for student educators. The idea is we invite some renowned distinguished faculty members who are exceptionally talented and enthusiastic in teaching and let them mingle with motivated student educators by sharing their perspective and experience in teaching and learning.

We just launched the first one in the series with Professor Bob Duke at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bob is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT and expert in human learning and behavior, including motor skill learning, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. He is also a familiar voice to the public radio listeners in Austin through his radio podcast series: Two Guys on Your Head.

He is a natural choice for the first speaker to begin our workshop series due to his expertise in human learning, eloquent engagement style he has with audience, and overflowing passionate character.

He was absolutely helpful for me when I was preparing the Supervised Teaching class for our graduate students few years ago by providing me with numerous advice. I immediately thought of him and contacted him first when I got a green light for this workshop idea. He graciously accepted our invitation with enthusiasm.

He captured the audience’s mind with his radiating intellectual and personable character throughout the session. I was grateful for his contribution, and at the same time, proud of myself of picking him as our first choice!

I hope the new workshop series can be successful this semester so we can reach out to more student educators on campus and make good impact on their professional development in teaching and learning.

The topic of the workshop was “What do I do when I don’t know what I’m doing?”


Participants of the workshop with Prof. Duke at the new Learning Lab at PCL Library (August 2016)


Brief description of the workshop:  What do I do when I don’t know what I’m doing?

In 1959, Jerome Bruner correctly observed, “The school boy learning physics is a physicist, and it is easier for him to learn physics by behaving like a physicist than doing anything else” (1960, p. 72). Since that time, research in psychology and neuroscience has deepened our understanding of the fundamental principles of human learning. Yet much of what we do in public and private education at all levels of instruction seems to effectively ignore these principles. What’s up with that?

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