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Davis Grant to Create Center for Teaching

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hampshire College is committed to excellence in teaching and has been awarded a $252,980 grant by the Davis Educational Foundation to create a center for teaching.

The Hampshire College Center for Teaching will serve as a valuable resource both for Hampshire faculty and for Hampshire students interested in teaching. The center will get the best new research on teaching and learning into faculty hands quickly. The center will also assist students who work as teaching assistants, teach January Term workshops, or mentor other students in development of skills. In addition, the center will offer a series of workshops and lectures for faculty on best practices in teaching.

“We see the center as a point of dissemination for innovative ideas about teaching and an important new aspect of our program of faculty development,” said Steven E. Weisler, dean of academic development at Hampshire.

Hampshire’s center for teaching will differ from traditional models in two ways: (1) its design for use by students as well as professors, and (2) the integration of new knowledge about learning that is being developed in the cognitive and brain sciences with the more typical work of a teaching center to share best practices in teaching as learned through faculty experience.

Charlene D’Avanzo, dean of the School of Natural Sciences at Hampshire, will serve as director of the center for teaching.

Neill Stillings, dean of the School of Cognitive Science and one of the faculty leaders of Hampshire’s innovative Culture, Brain and Development program, will serve as a consultant on the project. Carol Trosset, director of institutional research, will work closely with the center.

The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

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