Robert Lue, professor in molecular and cellular biology is appointed Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. This puts him in one of the most influential places to rethink and support teaching and learning.
This world-class teaching centre is named after of the greatest thinkers on teaching, Derek Bok. ScienceGuide spoke with this legendary Harvard President, the Dean among Deans. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”, this famous quote from Derek Bok summarizes the mission of the Derek Bok Center perfectly.
Creatively rethinking teaching
Michael D. Smith, dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences: “Rob is one of Harvard’s foremost leaders in innovative teaching. As the Menschel director, he will establish the Bok Center at the heart of our efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in the Faculty of Arts and Science. This is an exciting moment for everyone who cares passionately about the education of our students — today, in the future, on campus and online”.
As faculty member, Lue will also be responsible for HarvardX, the education portal of Harvard in edX, one of the last innovations in a long and prestigious history of teaching innovation. Lue: “I’m excited about this opportunity to build on that remarkable foundation,” Lue said. “This is a perfect moment for the Bok Center, and for other efforts across campus in the teaching and learning space to come together in a mutually reinforcing way.”
“The Bok Center is beautifully positioned to play a very important role in fostering not just faculty experimentation in the classroom, but also in working to identify what the best ways are for us to teach our students,” Lue said. “When you look at the national landscape, the traditional mode of lecturing, while still important, is clearly not the only way to teach. Increasingly, faculty members are exploring new ways of using technology and new ways of engaging students. I’ve never seen this level of broad-based interest in creatively rethinking teaching and learning among both faculty and students, so it’s a tremendously exciting time to be in the classroom.”
Dean of Harvard Summer School
Before, Lue served as Dean of Harvard Summer schools, where among other things he led the expansion of study-abroad programs across multiple fields in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. In the Netherlands these summer courses on teaching excellences have been a great success as well. The Roosevelt Academy invited leading experts in teaching from the Derek Bok Centre and Harvard, to share their insights with enthusiast teachers from all around the country, during this summer school. Last year special attention was given to ‘micro-teaching’, a technique developed and practiced at the Derek Bok Center and Harvard University.
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