Skip to this page's content

Keynotes on Excellence in Teaching

The Center for Excellence in Teaching brings in keynote speakers on excellence in teaching about once each semester. Each keynote features a nationally-recognized expert who presents on topics related to innovative pedagogy, cutting-edge research, or best practices in college teaching and learning. The keynote presentation is often paired with other opportunities for the Simmons community to engage with the topic, such as a roundtable discussion following the author's presentation.

Past Keynotes on Excellence in Teaching:

Teaching for Critical Thinking

Stephen Brookfield,
John Ireland Endowed Chair, School of Education
University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, March 26, 2014; Kotzen Center
8:30am Breakfast; 8:45-10:00am Keynote Presentation

Critical thinking entails students being willing to clarify and investigate their assumptions. One way to do this is to utilize creativity to see knowledge, ideas and practices from multiple alternative viewpoints. In this presentation Stephen Brookfield will build on what students say are the best ways teachers can help them to think critically and creatively. He will review a number of specific classroom exercises that students report as being helpful in teaching them to think critically across the disciplines.

About Stephen Brookfield: Since beginning his teaching career in 1970, Stephen Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States, teaching in a variety of college settings. He has written, co-written or edited sixteen books on adult learning, teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory. His work has been translated into German, Korean, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Farsi, and Albanian. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees for his contributions to the field.  He currently serves on the editorial boards of educational journals in Britain, Canada and Australia, as well as in the United States. After 10 years as a Professor of Higher and Adult Education at Columbia University in New York, he now holds the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Dr. Brookfield at:

Diversity is More Than a Word: Honoring Values and Embracing Differences in Educational Practice

Dr. Prudence Carter
Dr. Prudence L. Carter, Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University

Monday, October 28, 2013; Linda K. Paresky Conference Center

Because we hear the word, "diversity," so often, in some ways we no longer hear it or we have stopped assigning real meaning to it. A myriad of diversity issues still abound, however, and several of them, seen and unseen, warrant examination, particularly in education. This talk will explore diversity issues in the classroom itself but will also extend beyond to the curriculum, syllabus, advising and mentoring, etc -- how do they reflect diversity and why is it important for them to do so? The CET invites the entire Simmons community to join us for what promises to be a fascinating, interactive, thought-provoking event.

About Prudence Carter: Prudence L. Carter is Professor, Graduate School of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University, as well as the Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). She received her B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Brown University (1991), and continued on to Columbia University where she received her M.A in Sociology and Education from the Teacher's College (1998), as well as her M.Phil and Ph.D in Sociology (1999). She is the author of Keepin' It Real: School Success beyond Black and White and Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. & South African Schools, which presents the findings of a cross-national study of group dynamics in high schools and discusses linkages among organizational and cultural practices, student and teacher relationships, and educational outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Carter at: