2021 Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award Winners

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The Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member or faculty team who has used exceptional creativity in the use of innovative approaches to promote student-centered learning. This annual award is based on the demonstrated success of the innovation, as well as evidence of impact on students, colleagues, and the potential for wider adoption.

The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the 2021 Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award Winners:

In Your Shoes: Performing One Another

Daniel Brumberg, Associate Professor, Department of Government

Derek Goldman, Professor and Chair, Department of Performing Arts,

Ijeoma Nicole Njaka, Senior Program Associate, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)

Rabbi Rachel Gartner, Director for Jewish Life

In Your Shoes (IYS) employs innovative techniques rooted in theatrical performance, dialogue, and deep listening to bring students from diverse social, cultural, and religious backgrounds into substantive, challenging, and respectful dialogue with one another to promote mutual understanding and empathy. Using the “Performing One Another” methodology created and developed over more than a decade by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and its Founding Director Derek Goldman, In Your Shoes participants hold two-way pair conversations that are based on a simple prompt, mutually recorded, curated, transcribed, and then shared with the group in excerpted form through performance. This practice is a model for creating communities of openness and trust while engaging issues that may otherwise be polarizing or difficult to talk about. In Summer 2019, the project received a grant from GU’s “Transforming the Core Curriculum Initiative” and Profs. Goldman (Performing Arts & SFS) and Daniel Brumberg (Government) created a five-credit course Dialogue and Difference: Performing One Another (TPST 415/GOVX424), with a diverse cohort of eighteen students from GU and Patrick Henry College (a conservative Christian school in Virginia) and co-facilitators Ijeoma Njaka (Red House and Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics) and Rabbi Rachel Gartner (Campus Ministries). After the events at the US Capitol on January 6th, more than twenty project participants/alumni gathered voluntarily to engage in dialogues that became the source of a virtual public performance event that also featured faculty, staff, and campus leaders in intergenerational and cross-cultural performances. In Your Shoes has been the subject of major features in The Washington Post and on the PBS NewsHour, and the approach is now being employed in numerous other courses and projects across the disciplines. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Peggy Slota, Teaching Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies (SNHS)

Sarah Vittone, Assistant Professor, Department of Professional Nursing Practice

Maureen McLaughlin, Associate Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center- Adjunct

Nancy Crowell, Associate Professor, Department of Nurse Anesthesia Program

Peggy Slota, Maureen McLaughlin, Sarah Vittone, and Nancy Crowell worked as a research team in implementation and evaluation of an innovative and engaging approach to increase observation and communication skills in graduate nursing students. Comprehensive communication content, including observation and inference of meaning, is threaded throughout academic nursing programs at all levels, but graduate level pedagogy is typically staid. Rooted in the concepts of visual intelligence and literacy, and applying Kolb’s experiential learning theory, intentional visual thinking and learning activities focusing on cognition and transformational learning were developed in collaboration with Julia Langley of the Georgetown Arts and Humanities program and Dr. Lorena Bradford at the National Gallery of Art (NGA). Fine arts sessions were implemented at the NGA (online during the pandemic) as part of the graduate communications curricula. They have conducted two pedagogical studies during the last 5 years to evaluate the impact of these experiences for their diverse body of adult learners, with the aim of improving the evaluation methodology by defining outcome measures for quantitative changes in observation and communication skills. Their data demonstrated the effectiveness of the fine art intervention in improving intentional communication and visual intelligence skills through increased self-awareness.