Conferences on Teaching


January 9, 2020

Register now for West Chester University's fourth annual Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (SoTLA) conference, hosted by the Academic Affairs Division, on January 9, 2020. Our focus is on enhancing faculty members' scholarship related to assessment, classroom engagement, and online technology within the higher education community. Organized by the Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Center and the Office of Distance Education, the conference promotes the dissemination of research into our craft of teaching in higher education, demonstrating ways in which our scholarship and instruction can inform one another and center on the needs and goals of our students. See full schedule.

Keynote Speaker: Lisa Lucas, “Cultivating Compassion”

Start the new year by strengthening your compassion. Compassion is empathy in action. Compassion for others begins with self-compassion. Numerous research studies show that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being.

Think of compassion as a muscle that we all have, that we are born with and can bolster. Lisa Lucas's recent research explores how incorporating empathy and compassion into our own lives and into our classrooms can help reduce stress by fostering self-care and greater work-life balance. This provides the space for optimal teaching and learning. As a result, educators become present and more emotionally responsive, which positively impacts student engagement and achievement.

Lucas will share how teaching with empathy and awareness enables us to connect more authentically with our students. Universities that establish a strong foundation of cooperation and trust are able to foster compassionate communities, which make cultural shifts more attainable. Compassion helps us navigate the never-ending interpersonal challenges we encounter on a daily basis. When we exercise compassion for others, we strengthen relationships, our perspective broadens, and we see endless possibilities. Compassion primes our minds for collaboration. We can practice compassion in the midst of teaching, advising, and while collaborating with our colleagues.

Lisa J. Lucas has over 30 years of experience in education, as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, consultant, and professor. She has taught in public, private, parochial and pre-school settings, and knows firsthand that education is a rewarding profession, but also a stressful one. In her current role as a professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, she researches and develops practical stress reduction strategies for educators. Lisa is the author of Practicing Presence: Simple Self-Care Strategies for Teachers published by Stenhouse Publishers. She works with educators to explore how to elevate engagement in the workplace by establishing habits and routines to cultivate attention, self-awareness, compassion and emotion regulation. Students learn from teachers who project enthusiasm, optimism and clearly enjoy what they do. They are present for their students. You can't fake presence, but you can learn to cultivate it—which is what Lisa has focused on herself, personally and professionally, for more than three decades.