Published: Feb. 27, 2018

Dear Colleagues—

The 2018 ASSETT Faculty Fellows' program is in full swing. The self-reported network of interactions centered around teaching with others on campus suggests the new cohort significantly increased the breadth and depth of connectivity among faculty within the Arts and Sciences. 


During the last session I worked with Janet Donavan from political science and Donna Mejia from dance on finding consensus around big ideas, essential questions and enduring understanding that characterizes one aspect of our respective educational missions. We re-discovered the concept of multiple intelligences championed by Howard Gardner. The idea of multiple intelligences recognizes that each person possesses diverse and remarkable cognitive abilities, including embodied cognition that involves thought and actions triggered and made possible by movement, to linguistics and the awareness of the art of language, interpersonal and interpersonal capabilities for knowing oneself and others, cultural connectedness and awareness, logical-scientific thought processes, etc. An emergent organizing concept that stems from embracing multiple intelligences is the recognition each student thinks and learns differently. We have to resist the idea that there is one way to teach our students. Instead, we should strive to create learning environments as diverse as our students' thinking and learning. We should develop collaborations between educators who think differently, teach differently, and emphasize different theoretical and conceptual framework towards developing enduring understandings of the complex and wonderful world where we live and work and find meaning. The picture of the social network constructed by Faculty Fellows is not an abstraction. It is a picture of people coming together, sharing ideas, and developing opportunities for students to become the informed, engaged citizens and change-agents of the future.