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Four faculty members named CATL Scholars

The four professors will work on projects that explore the way students learn in music, creative writing and English education.

Omri Shimron (top left), Kathy Lyday (top right), Cassie Kircher (bottom left) and Paula Patch (bottom right).

Elon University professors Cassie Kircher, Omri Shimron, Kathy Lyday and Paula Patch have been named CATL Scholars for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning’s Scholar program supports innovative and scholarly teaching projects that transform student learning. The award comprises a two-course reassignment for two consecutive years, plus $2,500 per year in project funding.

Kircher, an associate professor of English, will focus her project on “creative writing in the community,” training Elon students in creative writing pedagogy and connecting them with teachers and students in the Alamance-Burlington School System. The project is designed to reach and inspire teachers and students at many levels and in many schools—creating a partnership that will provide an innovative teaching opportunity in the arts for Elon undergraduates and a transformative arts experience for ABSS students and their teachers, through creative writing classes and writing festivals.      

Shimron, an associate professor of music, will use his project to develop and implement, in partnership with students, inverted-classroom methodologies for a core music theory sequence. By shifting more student interactions with content outside the class, Shimron’s project will decrease the amount of in-class time spent in traditional lecture and increase time devoted to applying concepts, problem-solving, writing, and honing critical and creative skills.

To bridge the expert-novice divide, Shimron will work with student-partners who will provide initial feedback for course materials, critique delivery methods, and assess the impact of those methods on learning, through periodic course visits and discussions. Together with his student-partners, he will collect and analyze data on student learning and teacher change during this innovative course re-structuring.

Lyday and Patch, professor and lecturer in English, respectively, will develop and assess online, interactive resources for grammar instruction. The mini-courses and assessments will employ current pedagogical approaches to teaching online that allow students to work at their own pace on material designed with real, local results in mind. Initially designed for Teacher Education candidates, the online course site will eventually be available to any Elon students, faculty, staff, and alumni who might benefit from directed grammar study.

Their project most immediately solves an existing need for students in the Teacher Education program, but also addresses an anticipated need: that in a culture in which students are writing more and professionals are writing more, it provides a better way of getting students to not only demonstrate but develop grammar competency of the sort that we expect of Elon graduates. Lyday and Patch’s project will meet this need by marrying grammar instruction and 21 century technologies and pedagogies.

Kircher, Shimron, Lyday and Patch will join 29 current or past CATL Scholars, including current Scholars Kevin O’Mara (management), Kristina Meinking (Latin), Mary Knight-McKenna and Cherrel Miller-Dyce (both from education), Chad Awtrey (math and statistics), Prudence Layne (English) and Rebecca Pope-Ruark (English).

A call for applications for CATL Scholars is announced early each fall. All faculty are encouraged to apply.

CATL Scholars are selected by a faculty committee comprised of other Scholars and CATL faculty advisory committee members. This year’s committee was: Sophie Adamson (French), Cindy Fair (human service studies), Mary Knight-McKenna (education), Phillip Motley (communications) and Michael Terribilini (biology).

Laura St. Cyr,
11/13/2013 3:05 PM