Shimer College

June 19, 2014

Free Workshop for High School Teachers Offered by Shimer College and IIT

The workshop, “Raising Questions: Teaching STEM and Social Issues” helps teachers of STEM and other subjects improve their use of dialogue to advance learning in the classroom.

For two day this July, Shimer College will host a free workshop on dialogic teaching, “Raising Questions: Teaching STEM and Social Issues.” The workshop will show teachers, especially those teaching STEM subjects, how to use dialogue in the classroom to effectively extend student thinking and advance learning.  The workshop is designed to help teachers meet the standards of the Common Core, which places new emphasis on dynamic classrooms where students take on some of the responsibility for their own learning. 

“Raising Questions: Teaching STEM and Social Issues” will be held on July 9 and July 16 from 10am to 4pm at Shimer College (3424 S. State Street).

The dialogic approach to teaching is a central feature of learning at Shimer College, a small liberal arts college situated on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Stuart Patterson, a professor of liberal arts at Shimer College and one of the workshop leaders, says that discussion enables students to learn by engaging each other, which requires teachers to be skilled at raising and addressing questions. “The workshop is partly an attempt to support and promote what I see as perhaps the most forward thinking of the Common Core Standards approach: increasing students’ authority over and thereby responsibility for their own learning,” Patterson says. The workshop will also be led by Halcyon Lawrence, Assistant Visiting Professor Linguistics and Technical Communication at IIT.

“Raising Questions: Teaching STEM and Social Issues” is sponsored by the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy, a free, two-year academic enrichment program for high-achieving Chicago-area high school students with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Registration for the workshop is open through July 2. To register or for more information, see