Teaching Matters: 18th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference

Teaching Matters Conference 2020
Teaching Matters Conference 2020

The Inclusive Academic: Strategies for Maintaining Balance in a Changing Academic World

By: Brittany A. Tennant, Communications Specialist

Gordon State College will host the 18th annual Teaching Matters conference, an interdisciplinary teaching and learning Higher Ed conference to engage teaching professionals. The theme for this year's event is “The Inclusive Academic: Strategies for Maintaining Balance in a Changing Academic World.” The conference will include Individual Presentations, Panel Sessions, Workshops, Roundtable Discussions and Posters. The conference will also touch on innovative and creative pedagogical methods, issues surrounding teaching and learning, and educational theories.

More than two-dozen schools are expected to be represented in the conference that lasts from March 12-13, 2020. Teaching Matters regularly garners at least 150 participants and is open to all who have a passion for teaching and learning. The conference events are designed so that educators can have meaningful conversations and share approaches for ensuring student success. The conference asks the question “How do we stay on the cutting edge of scholarship in teaching and learning and in our individual disciplines and not find ourselves on the edge of a breakdown?” Session presenters will offer strategies and approaches for cultivating professional growth while ensuring life balance, for creating inclusive spaces for students while also navigating the waters of campus politics and culture.

CETL Director Dr. Anna Higgins-Harrell said, “We are so pleased to offer teaching professionals from across the state and region the opportunity to convene and share ideas and best practices. The conference is actually one example of the ways in which Gordon State College is at the forefront of a nationwide pedagogical revolution, with faculty involved in such national and regional efforts as Gateways to Completion and Momentum Approach, offering presentations on topics from engagement methods such as gamification, to High Impact Practices such as Study Abroad and Undergraduate Research, to Gateway course success, avoiding plagiarism, social belonging and mindset.”

Dr. Roxanne Donovan, Professor of Psychology & Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University and co-founder of WellAcademic, will be the Keynote Speaker. The name of her speech is “Five Secrets to Thriving in Stressful Times.” She has more than 20 years of experience teaching, training, and consulting in the areas of health and wellness. Donovan has published numerous titles on mental health; stress; and racism, sexism and other forms of injustice. Her expertise has been shared through national, regional, and local workshops as well as through programming for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

GSC started Teaching Matters in 2003 and it has grown each year is size and numbers. Gordon State College Professor of English and Founder of Teaching Matters Dr. Jason Horn said, “I wanted to start a conference that would focus on teaching as a priority. There are all kinds of specialized conferences on various topics, events, and individuals but few on teaching, itself. My idea was to bring some balance to our academic lives by directing attention to what all our scholarship and service duties aim to do, nourish our knowledge and improve our teaching. This year’s theme targets just that, how to balance our professional duties and scholarship while enlivening our teaching. I have been to all the conferences, and each year I come away with fresh ideas and new energy to pursue my teaching and scholarship. Of course, I recommend the conference to all interested in keeping the fires burning for teaching and learning.” The conference is $50 to attend if you register before February 28, 2020. Late registration is $65 and ends March 5, 2020. Student registration is $40 and walk-up registration is $75. Registration fees include attending the conference, coffee breaks, and lunch on March 12 and 13. For more information contact CETL Director Dr. Anna Higgins-Harrell at a_higgins@gordonstate.edu.