Last Friday, hundreds of Harvard faculty, administrators, and graduate students gathered in the Northwest Building to celebrate and criticize higher education. As the first public manifestation of the recent $40 million gift by Gustave and Rita Hauser that established the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT), the HILT Symposium launched a high-profile effort to make Harvard a center for learning and teaching innovation. Carl Wieman, Nobel Laureate in Physics and current Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology, and Henry Roediger, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Washington University, St. Louis, were among the prominent scholars and pedagogues brought in to share their research findings on learning and teaching. The day also included teaching demonstrations by Harvard faculty and a large group discussion of the institutional implications of pedagogical innovation.
You can read about Eric Mazur’s teaching demonstration in this Boston Globe article; the Chronicle of Higher Ed also covered the day’s proceedings, as did the Harvard Gazette. The administrators of HILT also plan to post video footage from the event on their website, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, check the Bok Blog for frequent and varied responses to the issues raised at the Symposium.