Excellence in Teaching Day: May 9
After nearly three years since our last on-campus Excellence in Teaching Day, we are delighted to be able to hold ETD 2022 in person in Gasson Hall on May 9 from 9:00 - 4:00. We’ll share full details about our line-up of breakout sessions – including a hands-on design workshop in the afternoon – in our April newsletter. In the meantime, read below about this year’s keynote and the overall theme for the day.
Who is the Classroom Built For?
In the introduction to her book, What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World, Sara Hendren asks of a world fundamentally changed by a global pandemic: “Is a desirable future one that only restores what was lost? Or is it a new set of possibilities asking to be imagined, or reimagined?” Hendren, an artist turned design researcher, invites her readers to explore that question through the lens of design — inviting us to ask of everyday objects and spaces, “Who is the built world built for?”
For Excellence in Teaching Day this year, we’re taking up Hendren’s invitation to ask, “Who is the classroom built for?” How do the choices we make as we design and teach our courses shape what kind of learning – and learners – can find a place in our classrooms? Building on the recent uptick in interest across campus in the role of design in higher education, ETD this year will feature faculty from a range of disciplines sharing the various ways they’ve “rebuilt” how they approach teaching and mentoring.
Keynote: Sara Hendren
Associate Professor of Arts, Humanities and Design at Olins College of Engineering, Sara Hendren is a humanist in tech — an artist and design researcher who bridges engineering and the arts in pursuit of sharper questions about human capacity, worth, and interdependence. Her lunchtime keynote, “The Agency to Build: Ideas for the Convivial Classroom,” will draw on research in disability studies and critical design to reflect on the classroom as a site of cross-disciplinary encounter.
Hendren’s book What Can A Body Do? was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR and won a 2021 Science in Society Journalism award. Her art and design work has been widely exhibited in museum exhibitions and is held in the permanent collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt. In 2021-22, she is Lecturer in Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design and a fellow in Education Policy at the New America think tank, where she is researching the future of work for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities.
If you’d like a chance to discuss Hendren’s work in advance of her keynote, we’ll be holding an informal lunchtime conversation about the first chapter of What Can a Body Do? on Tuesday, April 26 at noon. All who RSVP for the lunch will receive a copy of Hendren’s book. Find full registration information online.