The Interface Faculty Seminar was designed to engage UF instructors in demonstrations, discussion, and peer networking focused on improving teaching and learning by deploying innovative pedagogy using new and emerging technologies.
Spring 2015: Eric Mazur, Keynote Speaker
The Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence welcomes you to Interface 2015, where faculty, staff, and students from across disciplines will engage to improve teaching and learning at UF. Critical Reflection in Action is the theme of this year’s UF Faculty Interface.
Continue the conversation that was begun earlier this spring with internationally renowned Harvard physics scientist and teacher Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur suggests that education needs to be more than the transfer of information. He has found that interactions between students can help them to learn and retain material.
Interface participants are urged to view the recording from Dr. Mazur's presentation earlier this spring, "Confessions of a Converted Lecturer".
Critical Reflection in Action
A recent article from the Washington Post decries the manner in which students are currently educated and states that “[t]he best skill that students can learn in college is actually the ability to learn.” Whether you teach, build, support, or take courses, the sessions at Interface will provide informative and relevant presentations, as well as opportunities to talk with others from across the UF campus.
Presentations will draw from a variety of practical and theoretical perspectives, including:
- How do we weave critical thinking into any discipline? Strategies could include storytelling, journaling, writing narratives, using metaphors, and seeking out mentors and peers for honest and critical conversation.
- How can we become aware of the assumptions we unquestioningly rely upon? How can we assess our reasoning? How can we address these assumptions in ways that lead to discussion and growth?
- How do we go about getting more from ourselves and from our learners? What can we do to get our learners to dig deeper with richer conversations and more revealing commentary? How do we encourage sustainable growth and improvement? What role does reflection play in allowing us to give more?
- Critical reflection, taken to an extreme, may lead to skepticism or inaction. How do we ensure that reflection doesn’t leave us with only abstract theory, but new ways of acting?
- To what degree can critical reflection be social? How does our experience of power limit, or encourage, critical reflection? How do we teach others to continuously engage in a critical learning process? Can ambiguity be embraced in the learning process?
- How can assessment reinforce the value of the reflective process and encourage application of critical reflection in professional contexts? How do instructors, designers, and students contribute to the very situations we are trying to assess?
The reflective practitioner values the “bigger picture” and the relationship between learning activities, courses, academic programs, and past and future life experiences and plans. The purpose of Interface is to look through the lenses of quantitative and qualitative methods and use these perspectives for reflection on practice. This process has a great deal of ambiguity; there is often no one right answer or solution for everyone. Rather, the intent of Interface is to spark ideas and foster discussion and conversation. Together, we will critically reflect on our own beliefs and actions, and create opportunities for growth, in teaching and learning.