Photo of female staff member and male students looking at a 3D printer. The student is gesturing toward the 3D printer as he explains something.

16th Annual Teaching & Learning Conference at Elon University

Elon University welcomes area university and college educators to the 16th Annual Teaching & Learning Conference on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The conference is jointly sponsored by Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) and Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), and attendance costs are covered by these sponsors.

Conference Theme

This year’s conference theme is Cultivating Curiosity. In interactive sessions and presentations, attendees will share strategies that motivate student learning, foster student resiliency, and empower students by connecting their learning to evidence-based practices in inclusive teaching, non-conventional pedagogies, and work-integrated learning. We will also reflect on how we might effectively make sense of and implement the growing wealth of insights about teaching and learning afforded by studies in the cognitive sciences.

Plenary Speaker – Dr. Peter Felten

Can we teach curiosity? 

Curiosity might be bad for cats, but it is essential for human learning. As Eleanor Duckworth notes, “What you do about what you don’t know is, in the final analysis, what determines what you will know.” Scholars often describe curiosity as an internally motivated trait, but in this session we will explore what happens when we consider curiosity to be a set of practices that can be cultivated. How can our teaching help our students to become increasingly curious about our disciplines – and about their world? How can we determine whether these efforts are effective? We will consider concrete strategies for cultivating student curiosity, and we will ask questions about how we can know whether we are actually helping students to cultivate their curiosity in ways that will enhance their learning and enrich their lives.

Peter Felten is executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and professor of history at Elon University. He works with colleagues on institution-wide teaching and learning initiatives, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning. As a teacher and mentor, he regularly writes and presents with Elon undergraduates, and he works with Elon College and Honors Fellows on their research. As a scholar, he is particularly interested in learning and teaching, individual and institutional change, and student experiences and agency in higher education. His books include the co-authored volumes: The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most (Jossey-Bass, 2016); Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014); Transformative Conversations (Jossey-Bass, 2013); and the co-edited book Intersectionality in Action (Stylus, 2016). He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2016-17) and also of the POD Network (2010-2011), the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development and a fellow of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate EducationLearn more about Peter’s scholarship.