Author Archives: mirtzkansas

AEPL Virtual Symposium: Humanizing Online Teaching

Nate Mickelson announced a wonderful opportunity for AEPL members to gather online and rethink our online teaching strategies. Members can attend free, and encourage your colleagues to join AEPL and attend! Registration:

Humanizing Online Teaching
A Virtual Symposium 
Sponsored by the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
11am – 5:30pm Eastern / 8am – 2:30pm Pacific
via Zoom

Teachers and students have adapted to remote and online teaching in remarkable ways over the past few months. This work has involved intense personal and pedagogical traumas, as well as some moments of inspiration and perseverance. Even as we have learned how to use new teaching tools and techniques, we have also done everything we can to remain connected to our students and one another on a human level. The Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (AEPL) invites you to share your experiences, hopes, and challenges about online teaching during this one-day symposium. Featuring dynamic presentations from Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Fabiola Torres, Katie Linder, Doug Hesse, and Kathleen Blake Yancey, the symposium will highlight strategies for humanizing online teaching through practices of healing and interpersonal connections. The presentations will:

  • Articulate the larger context for humane online teaching and offer hope for the future
  • Describe specific practices for promoting social justice through online teaching
  • Explore how we can stay centered in our values as we confront the trauma and challenges facing our communities
  • Advocate for how teaching online can help us refocus on the most promising and humane practices we use when teaching in person

In addition to the presentations, the symposium will include structured opportunities for writing and small-group discussions. Participants will leave with ideas for new teaching strategies and an enhanced sense of belonging in a larger teaching community. 


Gearing Up for the June AEPL Conference: Some Resources on Buber’s Encounters

The theme for this summer’s AEPL Conference is “The Art of Encounter in Teaching and Learning.” The conference call references a sentence from Buber’s I and Thou: “All real living [and thus all real education] is meeting.” Buber wanted us to see encounters as a generative and generous connection between mutual, receptive, endlessly becoming, alive selves.

I was first introduced to Martin Buber’s seminal work I and Thou (1923) in college, but, as you can easily  imagine, I only understood it at a basic, post-adolescent level. I’ve been sent back to Buber’s ideas a few times over the years, and I and Thou remained in my library despite many book-cullings over the years as I moved around the country.

So it’s been wonderful to get back to thinking about I/Thou and I/It relationships again. For those of you who want a quick dip into Buber’s thought, here are a few places to start:

Kirsch, Adam. “Divine Guidance: Modernity, Faith, and Martin Buber.” New Yorker, Vol. XCV, Iss. 6 (May 6, 2019).
–A nice overview of Buber’s life and thought in a New Yorker article, prompted by the publication of Mendes-Flohr’s new biography of Buber, Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent (Yale University Press, 2019).

Zank, Michael and Braiterman, Zachary, “Martin Buber,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
–A standard overview of Buber’s philosophies with an extensive bibliography

Buber’s poem “Power and Love”
–Google Books has posted excerpts of Maurice S. Friedman’s 3-volume biography Martin Buber’s Life and Work (1981) which includes

A “Brainpickings” post by Maria Popova on Buber connects (more or less successfully) Buber’s thought to other current trends in thinking.

–Ruth Mirtz, Kansas State University Polytechnic

2020 Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning Conference — June 25-28, 2020

Information about the 2020 Conference is now available! The theme is “The Art of Encounter in Teaching and Learning.” We have a wonderful lineup of featured presenters and pre-conference workshops on the schedule. Find out the details about registration and lodging on the conference website. The conference flier is also available.

Proposals for interactive talks and workshops are due Dec. 1, 2019, for first round consideration. See the conference website for details and suggested topics.

I was pleased to attend the conference last year. Both the setting at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park and the conference itself was a refreshing change of pace: engaged colleagues talking about their passions, surrounded by the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. I hope to see you there in June!