Education Studies Lectures and Events, Spring 2024

Every semester, the Education Studies program sponsors guest speakers, hosts campus events, and shares exciting news about our faculty and students. We will post as many of these moments here and look forward to a busy semester here at Amherst College.

Upcoming Salon: Indigenous Narratives for Young People

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 4:30 PM

Author and Creative Writing Professor Brandon Hobson will be joining the CHI Salon series in March. He is the author of several novels including The Storyteller. The New York Times recently reviewed this middle-grade book, and said  "Hobson pours elements of Cherokee storytelling into the novel, and also packs it with humor, and musical and literary references." 

Hobson teaches creative writing at New Mexico State University. He is also the author of the novels The Removed and Where the Dead Sit Talking, which was a National Book Award finalist in 2018.

The Education Studies Program is pleased to co-sponsor the CHI Salon with Brandon Hobson on Wednesday, March 27th at 4:30 PM.  Hobson will read from his middle-grade novel The Storyteller and discuss Indigenous narratives in children's and young adult literature, with Q&A to follow. Childcare is provided, and refreshments are served. All are welcome!

Why We Grade and How We Fail: Recent Discussion at the CHI

The Education Studies Program proudly co-sponsored the February 21st CHI Salon: "Why We Grade and How We Fail." Jack Schneider (UMass Amherst) and Ethan Hutt (UNC, Chapel Hill) spoke about multiple aspects of assessment in K-12 schools. They looked at the history of assessment, assessment during the pandemic, and the currency within assessment.

While they shared many problems with the current form of grading (including how students can readily "game" the system and how grading shows inequity), they also discussed grades as a motivator and a communication tool. Their book -- Off the Mark: How Grades, Ratings, and Rankings Undermine Learning (but Don’t Have To) outlines much more than could be covered in a one salon. It was published via Harvard University Press in 2023.

Education Studies Senior Recently Spoke on Being a Folger Undergraduate Fellow!

Imani Gunnison ('24) was one of only four Amherst College students featured in the February 7th CHI Salon. Gunnison, Skyler McDonnell ('26), Malva Wieck ('25), and Jeffrey Zhou ('25) are the 2024 Folger Undergraduate Fellows. They spent last month at the Folger Institute in Washington D.C. These students shared their experiences in the CHI Salon Series on February 7th. Congratulations to Imani and her colleagues Skyler, Malva, and Jeffrey!

Education Outreach Efforts here at Amherst College Make Local Headlines

In this September article from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Biology Professor Thea Kristensen shares Amherst College's role in a collaborative research project titled "MassBears." This multi-agency project also involves the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

MassBears "aims to estimate population size and distribution and provide other information about bear movement and conflict with humans. 'The more data you have, the better picture you can get of what's happening," said Dr. Thea Kristensen, a member of Amherst College's biology department and this project's leader. 'This gives a way for our community in Massachusetts to participate in the project.'"

For more details and to read the whole article published on September 24, 2023 please visit the attached link.

group discussion on zoom

Education, Crisis, and Belonging Conversation Series

The Education Studies Initiative and the Multicultural Resource Center explore the challenges facing educational institutions and the possibilities for change during the time of the pandemic and of large-scale protests for racial justice.

speakers at a virtual event

Video Archive

Watch videos of past events presented by the department of Education Studies.