Immaculata University Hosts Research Project on Student Brain Development

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE), of which Immaculata University is a charter member, has received funding from the Teagle Foundation for a two-year research project to form a Collegium of faculty who will explore and test how research on student brain development might impact the way faculty teach and the way students learn. The first gathering of the Collegium is convened for Friday, November 21, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Immaculata University in the Faculty Center. Dr. Christian Jernstedt, a nationally known brain research specialist, who will provide guidance to the Collegium throughout the project, will be the guest speaker.
Sixteen faculty members who teach core courses and represent all SEPCHE institutions have been selected to participate in the Collegium (please refer to attached list of faculty and their corresponding institutions). Assisted by Dr. Jernstedt, together with Dr. Carol Weiss of Villanova University, they will examine whether shifting instruction in a sample of core courses to a "learning how to learn" approach will help students develop cognitive skills that will enable them to master more disciplinary content in the targeted courses. Based on the outcome of their research, the Collegium faculty will modify their courses according to the developmental readiness of the students to learn, aiming to enrich the quality of student learning in specific disciplines and ultimately across the curriculum. As the project develops, the Collegium faculty will share the results of their work with all SEPCHE faculty, and eventually with a wider teaching audience, to help them become more aware of the importance of teaching process along with teaching content, and of structuring assessment that allows students to demonstrate mastery of both kinds of learning – especially during the early years of college.
Dr. G. Christian Jernstedt is co-director of the Midwest Brain Learning Institute and is professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College and adjunct professor of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He specializes in human learning, educational technology, and evaluation research. Dr. Jernstedt’s research has been in the area of learning as it occurs both in formal classroom settings and in the natural environment. This research has been directed towards understanding the cognitive, behavioral, and affective precursors, concomitants, and outcomes of learning experiences, including classroom and other intentional learning, the training of physicians, the impact of training in the arts on cognitive learning, long-term adult behavior change, technologically enhanced learning, service-learning, and experiential learning programs.
The Teagle Foundation provides leadership for liberal education, marshalling the intellectual and financial resources necessary to ensure that today´s students have access to challenging, wide-ranging and enriching college educations.
SEPCHE is a consortium of eight independent higher education institutions in the Greater Philadelphia region who engage in a collaborative approach to the challenges of higher education and work together to promote quality and efficiency of academic programming, student access, faculty development, institutional operations and community outreach, through sharing a range of activities, services, technology and information. Members of SEPCHE include Arcadia University, Cabrini College, Chestnut Hill College, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Holy Family University, Immaculata University, Neumann College, and Rosemont College.
For more information on SEPCHE and its programs, please call Brighid Blake, executive director of SEPCHE, at 215-572-8543.
Immaculata University, a Catholic, comprehensive, coeducational institution is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.

y:word: PR: SEPCHE event at IU #54
11.11.2008

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