University of Pittsburgh
April 29, 2011

Pitt’s School of Education to Hold Conference May 5-6 in Celebration of Its Centennial

The Motivation and Engagement Conference will address such issues as attendance, attention to learning, and persistence in study
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—To celebrate 100 years as a school of education and address major barriers to the universal education of America’s youth, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education will present a Motivation and Engagement Conference May 5-6 at Pitt’s University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland. 

The free public conference, titled “Designing for Motivated Learning,” will examine such issues as attendance, attention to learning, and persistence in study. A renowned and diverse set of scholars who focus broadly on ways to understand, address, and design learning environments and community supports to foster learners’ engagement in and out of school settings will participate. 

Keynote speaker for “Designing for Motivated Learning” will be Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. An urban sociologist, Noguera conducts research that focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. 

He has authored more than 150 research articles, monographs, and reports on such topics as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, youth violence, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society, many of which have appeared in major research journals. 

Noguera also is the author of The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), City Schools and the American Dream (Teachers College Press, 2003), Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass, 2006), City Kids, City Teachers, with Bill Ayers and Greg Michie (New Press, 2008), and The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education (Wiley and Sons, 2008). Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. 

Also speaking at the conference are researchers whose work focuses on the sociology of learning, literacy, the social lives of learners, the design of learning environments, exercise in learning, informal learning ecologies, school reform, and prosocial youth development. They include: 

  • Peter Benson, president of Search Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.;
  • Daniel Edelson, vice president of education at the National Geographic Society;
  • John T. Guthrie, Professor Emeritus in the University of Maryland College of Education’s Department of Human Development;
  • Kris D. Gutierrez, professor and provost’s chair at the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education;
  • Charles H. Hillman, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health’s Neuroscience Program and associate professor in the Departments of Psychology and Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
  • Glynda Hull, professor of language and literacy, society, and culture in the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education;
  • Avi Kaplan, associate professor of educational psychology, psychological studies in education in Temple University’s College of Education;
  • Carol D. Lee, Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy and professor in the Learning Sciences and African American Studies departments in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy;
  • David Osher, principal investigator at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C.;
  • Russell Skiba, professor of counseling and educational psychology at the Indiana University Center for Evaluation and Education Policy; and
  • Reed Stevens, professor of learning sciences in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. 

Attendees will have multiple opportunities to interact with presenters, share their own ideas and experiences, and better understand efforts around the country to improve learning outcomes by discussing ways to better engage learners in their own academic and social development. 

An explicit goal of the conference is to begin an ongoing conversation about ways to incorporate contemporary views of motivation and engagement into the design and support of learning experiences. 

To register or for more information, visit www.education.pitt.edu

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