Dean of the Faculty

Teaching and Advising Program Workshop Series

“Pedagogy That Meets the Needs of a Diverse Range of Learners”


The Office of the Dean of the Faculty is pleased to offer “Pedagogy That Meets the Needs of a Diverse Range of Learners,” a workshop series that will focus on strategies of instruction that can facilitate the learning of all students, but which are especially important for non-traditional learners and for those with diagnosed learning disabilities.  Each workshop will convey research-based material from the fields of neuroscience and education and offer information on approaches for differentiating instruction, while maintaining academic rigor.  A $500 honorarium will be provided to participants.  The workshop series will be limited to about a dozen Amherst faculty members. Faculty who are interested in participating in this series should email Austin Sarat no later than Monday, September 8.  He is happy to answer questions about the program.

 Workshop Schedule

Friday, October 24, 2014
Porter Lounge
2:00-4:00 p.m.
"Universal Design and Cognitive Load"

This workshop will provide an introduction to “Universal Design” and the concept of “Cognitive Load.”  Universal Design is a framework for planning and delivering instruction that anticipates diversity among learners in culture, preparation, and cognitive profile.  It incorporates options for learners to individualize their experiences, while maintaining high standards and criteria for achievement. The concept of Cognitive Load explains working memory capacity in relation to optimizing effective instruction. This introductory session will lay the groundwork for this series and introduce tools and resources.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Porter Lounge
2:00-4:00 p.m.
"Language Processing in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics"

Language processing underlies most academic tasks, but is rarely taken into account when planning coursework. This session explores the linguistic components of academic reading, writing, and discussion so educators can consider elements of these capacities when planning and delivering instruction. It will offer approaches that support enhanced language processing for a range of learner profiles.

Friday, February 20, 2015
Porter Lounge
2:00-4:00 p.m.
"The Complex Role of Executive Function"

Like language processing, executive functioning is another set of cognitive capacities that are important for learning. Executive functioning refers to the ability to prioritize, plan, and execute goal-oriented tasks in a self-directed way. Many bright students struggle academically because of difficulties with these processes, which reside in a late-developing part of the brain.  This session will examine the impact of executive function on academic performance and suggest ways instructors can scaffold or support students who have challenges in the area of executive functioning.

Friday, April 17, 2015
Porter Lounge
2:00-4:00 p.m.
"Social and Emotional Components of Learning"

This workshop will focus on the social/emotional regulation that is necessary to function in an academic environment, be it virtual or face-to-face. An increasing number of high achieving students struggle specifically with emotional self-regulation and navigating the social landscape. This session looks at ways to bring these challenges to the surface and to work with students to help them succeed.

Karen Boutelle.jpgKaren Boutelle, associate director of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT), will facilitate these workshops.  Her experience in the field of education spans three decades and includes work with students from kindergarten through graduate school. At Landmark College, she has served as a faculty member, associate dean, and founding director of the Coaching Services department.  A  Professional Certified Coach, Karen earned a Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate.  Her areas of expertise extend to adult development, transformational learning, and working with students and adults who have executive functioning challenges. She co-authored “Executive Function Coaching for College Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD: A New Approach to Fostering Self-Determination” in the Journal of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (11/09).

Archive of Faculty Workshops and/or Seminars