CITLA News & Events



ASSUMPTIONS KICK OFF:  Facilitating Student Consideration of Assumptions in Problem-Solving RSVP HERE


Offered to the Community College of Rhode Island by the Center for Project-Based Learning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Jan. 26, 2018, Room 1130, Knight Campus

Grounded in the context of the Association of American Colleges & Universities VALUE rubrics on Critical Thinking and Quantitative Literacy, this workshop will focus on facilitating student consideration of assumptions when solving problems. The work of the day will include exploring the role that assumptions play in problem- and project-based learning, and participants will develop plans for incorporating into their teaching activities that will foster in students habits of mind regarding both foundational and evaluative assumptions.

Facilitator biographies

Geoff Pfeifer is associate teaching professor of philosophy and international and global studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He teaches philosophy courses, global studies courses and also for the Great Problems Seminars program. He has been the recipient of two teaching-related grants at WPI and is constantly looking for ways to improve his courses and teaching methods.  He also has been involved in curriculum development for the Great Problems Seminars program and is a faculty member for the WPI/AACU Summer Institute on Project Based Learning. His work has appeared in Human Studies, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, The European Legacy, Crisis and Critique, Continental Thought and Theory and The Journal of Global Ethics, and he has authored numerous book chapters. Additionally, he is the author of “The New Materialism: Althusser, Badiou, and Žižek” (Routledge, 2015) and co-editor of “Phenomenology and the Political” (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016).

Through her role as associate director for the Center for Project-Based Learning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Paula Quinn works to improve student learning in higher education by supporting faculty and staff to advance their work on project-based learning. She believes project-based learning holds significant potential for increasing the diversity of students who succeed in college and who persist in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and she views her work with the Center as contributing to education reform from the inside out. She holds a Master of Arts in developmental psychology from Clark University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. Her background includes working in the field of education evaluation, where she focused primarily on the areas of project-based learning; STEM; pre-literacy and literacy; student life; learning communities; and professional development. She has worked on projects whose funding sources have included the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences and the U.S. Department of Education.

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Last Updated: 1/16/18