De Lange Conference IX
October 13-14, 2014
ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES OF A CHANGING LANDSCAPE:
Teaching in the Research University of Tomorrow
The landscape of higher education is rapidly evolving — from “flipped” classrooms to a growing number of on-line opportunities to master and apply information that has been traditionally offered only in the erudite setting of the university classroom. These changes are driven in part by the tools that accompany the expanding capacities offered to both students and faculty by computer, smart phone, and web access (with high speed linkages) as well as by financial concerns.
In this context, examining the longer journey of education — from historical perspectives to societal expectations of higher education — lays the groundwork for reflecting on the role that technology plays/can play in teaching and on the changes wrought on our campuses by these sometimes seemingly tectonic shifts from even recent historical practice.
The De Lange Conference IX will integrate philosophical and practical perspectives regarding education and an understanding of the forces that are driving modern instruction. On the one hand, an understanding of the diversity of views, both historical and current, about the role of a university campus and the goals of a university education are important. At the same time, our comprehension of very practical issues regarding teaching/learning and the role of the campus are rapidly evolving. Our goal is a conference in which these two conversations occur in tandem.
The specific topic areas of the conference encompass two perspectives. The first is more philosophical: What are the historical understandings of the role of teaching in the university setting? What level of importance and, even more significantly, what meanings for university education are assigned by society as whole? What have we discovered about the process of learning that impacts our understanding of education? The second perspective is more practical: What is the role of and how do technological advances — those available today as well as those anticipated in the future — impact teaching in the university setting? How do these technological changes impact when and where (as well as how) teaching happens? How have students changed in today’s “wired” world?
Our vision is that the De Lange Conference IX in October 2014 will provide a setting in which collective reflection on these issues will occur in concert with the opportunity to think deeply together. We hope this event will give rise to new insights and facilitate our steps into what many perceive as a “brave new world” of our future.
The De Lange Conferences, funded by the De Lange Endowment, were established by C. M. and Demaris Hudspeth in honor of Demaris' parents, Albert and Demaris De Lange.
These conferences are held every other year and have the flexibility to range broadly in subject matter and discipline. All are intended to bring to the Rice University campus top experts and major figures to focus on a topic of great concern to society.