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Faculty, student participate in "Reacting to the Past" conference

Elon University professors and students recently participated in the 10th Annual Summer Institute on Reacting to the Past at Barnard College in New York City.

Reacting to the Past consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills.

Megan Squire, associate professor of computing sciences, and Tony Crider, associate professor of physics, led conference participants through a two-day version of The Trial of Galileo game. Jessie Moore, associate professor of English, Corinne Auman, assistant professor of psychology, and Jessica Dobyns, an elementary education major, participated in several of the conference games, including Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, The Collapse of Apartheid and the Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, Acid Rain in Europe and The Pluto Debate: The International Astronomical Union Defines a Planet.

During the concurrent sessions, Crider gave a talk on “Including Science Labs in The Trial of Galileo” and served on a panel entitled “Reacting and the Craft of Teaching” hosted by Jeffrey Hyson (Saint Joseph’s University). He also gave a presentation with Ralene Mitschler (McDaniel College) on his work with colleagues to adapt the Reacting to the Past pedagogy for use in science classes.

In their talk, “The NSF-CCLI Initiative: Acid Rain in Europe and The Pluto Debate,” he described four short science games under development and introduced two that would be played by conference participants.

Tony Crider,
6/21/2010 10:19 AM