Teaching Distracted Minds: Old Challenges, New Contexts with James Lang
The McMaster Alumni Association is pleased to partner with the McMaster Conference on Education & Cognition to provide an online public lecture.
This year McMaster welcomes James Lang, Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University in Worcester, MA, and author of six books including, Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It (Basic Books, 2020).
Faculty, teachers and parents frequently express concerns about the distractions and distractibility of our students, but our real focus should be on how we help students achieve attention.
This talk draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to argue that distractions are endemic to the human condition, and can’t be walled out of the physical classroom or online course. Instead, we should focus on creating educational experiences that cultivate attention.
The session will unfold in two parts, with opportunities for questions and conversation after each half. Part one will provide both historical and biological context on the role that distraction and attention play in education; part two will explore pedagogical practices that we can use to cultivate, support, and sustain student attention.
Following the lecture and the Q&A session, please join us for a fun Pub Quiz to see how well you were paying attention!
Did we mention there will be prizes?