Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

The Story of Learning

Learning the stories of others brings our own stories into a new perspective,teaching us to see things from a different point of view, giving us a way to look into a world that we haven’t encountered in our own lives.

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February 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

On International Day of Women & Girls in Science: A different vision for girls

For the past several years, I’ve worked with several of our  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) faculty at ACU to host our annual STEM for Girls day. We started with … Continue reading

February 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Creativity, edu: Contemplative Pedagogies and Learning

As we think about our students as heroes on a journey, we’ll be considering the three stories that they’ll be exploring: the story of self, the story of others, and … Continue reading

December 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

Creativity, edu: Learning as The Demogorgon

Patricia Hampl says, “Maybe being oneself is an acquired taste.”[ii] That’s a good way to think about the search for self that occurs in the process of learning. After all, we aren’t approaching information from a vacuum. We approach it within the context of who we are as a person. All of our past experiences, our beliefs, the things we’ve been taught by our families and important communities, these will shape the perspective that we bring to our learning. And our learning may shake up those perspectives, may threaten the things we thought we knew about ourselves, who we are, and our place in this world. And that can be a scary thing.

December 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Creativity, edu: A Call to Action

Once a hero is aware of a problem and the need for change, she encounters fear. This fear arises from the unknown element; we resist moving into something different, even when we know it needs to happen. To make it easier for learners to be willing to broach the unknown, teachers need to help them find the call to adventure that occurs in the Hero’s Journey.

December 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Creativity, edu: Learning as Storytelling

As we approach the creation of a course or program, we need to think about them as building blocks for knowledge and skill for our heroes. In The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda was teaching Luke Skywalker how to be a Jedi, he knew what the endgame was, and what skills and knowledge Luke needed to be able to defeat the dark side. As mentors and guides, teachers are like Yoda, preparing our heroes to approach the unknown, move through fear and uncertainty, lingering between the known and unknown without panicking, and move into mastery.

November 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

Creativity, edu: Creating spaces for creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving

What if we could create a space that provided faculty members with a place to come together and work on interdisciplinary projects; a space designed specifically to encourage collaboration and creativity?

November 16, 2016 · Leave a comment
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