Image of David YeagerThe TLC Responds to David Yeager

Friday, January 26, 2018
8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Bovee University Center

In October, the TLC welcomed David Yeager to speak at CMU. Following his practical and insightful workshops, faculty discussed his strategies for promoting student achievement by building a growth mindset and fostering community. On Friday, January 26th the TLC hosted an all-day faculty conference to build on the momentum from David Yeager's visit. Presenters discussed varied ways to implement his strategies in classrooms across the university.

Conference Program & Schedule

Conference Schedule

9:00 to 9:45 a.m. Registration & Refreshments
Bovee U.C. Terrace Rooms

9:45 - 11:00 a.m. Keynote Presentation
Bovee U.C. Terrace Rooms

Reimagining the First Year at CMU: Lessons from the Gateway Course Project
This panel will discuss how faculty have transformed their courses as part of the Reimagining the First Year (RFY) initiative. Faculty will discuss what they have tried, how it fits the RFY goals, connections to Yeager’s ideas, and practical advice and tips for instructors interested in trying similar modifications in their courses.
Convener: Marcy Taylor, Interim Dean, CHSBS
Panelists: Melinda Kreth (ENG), Greg Smith (HST), Cherie Strachan (PSC), Jon Truitt (HST), Angela McGuirk (CHM)

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Classroom Strategies that Improved Student Achievement at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College: Influence, Mindset, and Belonging
It is common knowledge that student success rates in developmental math courses are bleak. At the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (SCTC), we have tried numerous strategies with varied success. In particular, incorporating growth mindset, applying influence pressures, and creating an environment of cultural inclusion and belonging have produced positive results. Attendees will hear and discuss the classroom strategies we have used, review an example of the work we are doing with Carnegie Pathways to create an environment of belonging, and use the six sources of influence to create a plan to change a student behavior.
Presented by: Earle Crosswait III (MTH/SCTC)

Liberal Arts + Applied Arts + Career Services = Career Ready Graduates
This presentation will begin with a review of surveys of employers. The data are clear in showing that employers want college graduates to have a variety of skills that cut across majors. Career Services staff will then discuss the many services they provide students, from the first year forward, stressing that students need to work to develop a clear understanding of their strengths and interests. There will be time for faculty to discuss the ways in which they encourage students to develop the higher order thinking, analysis, technology, and intercultural skills that employers want while maintaining high academic standards. The presentation will stress that the dichotomy between education in the liberal arts and in the practical arts is a false one, and students are best served when we combine the two.
Presented by: Mary Senter (SOC), Julia Sherlock and Erik Simon (Career Services)

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Bovee U.C. Terrace Rooms

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

"I'm Just Not a Creative Person!" Cognitive Psychology Demystifies Some Myths Students (and Teachers!) Live By
Students and teachers alike harbor false beliefs about cognitive abilities, particularly creativity and attention, and these beliefs reflect Yeager’s notion of fixed mindsets. The purpose of the current talk is to demystify these myths through discussions of current findings in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. I will also discuss research from the burgeoning field of embodied cognition that reveals some of the hidden ways that our bodies shape our minds. I will argue that there is a critical need for educators who want to enact Yeager’s ideas to bear in mind these modern approaches to mind—body dynamics. Finally—in response to Yeager’s call to faculty to incorporate belonging and growth-mindset principles into their courses—I share some experiences from teaching a course in which students, as a community of psychological scientists, confront myths about creativity and learn the malleability of their own creative abilities through an independent research project.
Presented by: Christopher Davoli (PSY) 

Using Best Teaching Practices to Reinvigorate General Education Assessment
In his talk "Creating a Community of Belonging," David Yeager presented a case for the value of fostering a sense of community in students to support learning. This challenge could be equally applied to our own institutional processes. General education assessment at CMU has emerged largely as a top down, unified plan for assessing what is in fact a diverse set of courses addressing varied aspects of knowledge and human experience. This talk will question the extent to which a general assessment plan of this kind is appropriate if our goal is to use assessment to improve student learning. It will ask in what ways our current general education assessment might be opened up to the faculty teaching on the programs and in what ways we could all better serve our students by fostering faculty general education communities, allowing best practices in teaching inform better assessments.
Presented by: Rich Forest (Director, GenEd)

3:00 - 4:15 p.m. Roundtable: Teachers Discussing Learning
Convener: Rachael Barron-Duncan (ART)
  • Carlin Borsheim-Black (ENG) is an associate professor of English education and co-author of Inspiring Dialogue: Talking to Learn in the English Classroom.
  • Joanne Dannenhoffer (BIO) is a Professor of Biology specializing in plant biology with research focused on development of maize kernels.
  • Kelly J. Murphy (PHL/REL) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University and coeditor of a volume entitled Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents throughout the Ages (Fortress Press, 2016).
  • Jeanneane Wood-Nartker (IND) has taught interior design at CMU for 30 years.  She was honored to receive one of the CMU Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. 

4:15- 5:00 p.m. Wine and Cheese Reception
Bovee U.C. Terrace Rooms

About David Yeager

David Yeager is an Associate Professor in Psychology at UT Austin. He earned his PhD and MA in Experimental Psychology at Stanford, his MEd in English and BA in Liberal Studies/Great Books at Notre Dame, taught middle-school English and coached basketball in Tulsa, OK.

Yeager studies characteristic challenges for people from late childhood through early adulthood, such as academic achievement, trust, depression, cheating, bullying, and health problems, focusing on the opportunities and risks that come with transitions. His goal is to analyze those risk situations in order to devise interventions that lead to improved behavior and success in reaching one’s goals. 

In 2013, Dr. Yeager chaired and co-hosted a national summit on mindset interventions at the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy. There, the “Mindset Scholars Network” was launched, with Yeager as a co-chair. This interdisciplinary research Network is housed at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in Stanford, CA, where Yeager was a 2014-15 fellow. The flagship projects of the Network are: the “National Mindset Study,” a test of mindset interventions in a national probability sample of high schools, and the “College Transition Collaborative,” a test of social-belonging interventions with matriculating students at over a dozen colleges. Yeager’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and the leading journals in his field. 

About TLC

The Teaching and Learning Collective (TLC) is a grass-roots faculty initiative committed to improving students' academic achievement by developing the academic skills they need to become active and engaged life-long learners. 

Conference Sponsors

The 2018 TLC Winter Conference was co-sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral ​Sciences (CHSBS) and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning​ (CETL) at Central Michigan University. This speaker series was made possible by the Office of the Provost.