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Workshop Topic Detail

Capture My Heart, Educate My Soul


Designed for faculty who instruct at the basic collegiate levels, the “Capture My Heart, Educate My Soul” workshops are intended as practical, participatory complements to the theories, attitudes, and strategies suggested in the manual. Steeped in the practice of Socratic questioning, an ethos of care, and transformational learning theory, the workshops challenge participants to reflect upon who they are in the classroom, and what they really bring to the table of teaching and learning. Participants are asked to reflect on the intentionality of their instructional methods. What tools, habits of mind, and practices do we hang on to because they are familiar or trendy, yet perhaps ineffective for the post-pandemic generation? What do we know about this changing demographic? Our philosophy is simple yet effective: project an authentically caring attitude and atmosphere, and learners will bring their “A” game. This is not to say that their “A” game will be enough, but it is foundational, as is the role of the affective. We encourage deep, intrusive integration of theory and practice, without valuing one over the other. How do we project what we know to our students, and how does the manner in which we project translate into positive student outcomes?

By the end of this workshop, participants know or be able to:

    • •Enhance our mindfulness of belief systems and assumptions regarding the transactional nature of learning.
    • Affirm the role of the affective as foundational in our understanding of what it means to care authentically, leading to greater student outcomes and efficacy in our interactions.
    • Identify and empathize with adult learners who genuinely struggle, while concurrently maintaining academic standards (and our personal integrity).
    • Acknowledge student deficiencies as a facet of life, while intentionally championing, targeting, and scaffolding their strengths, abilities, and life management skills.

Plans for Audience Participation and Interaction:

Since our philosophy is to teach adult educators how to be intentional in creating and implementing our methods and strategies, participants should expect learning that is participatory and “skills-based.” Real-life case studies, group break-out sessions, individual reflection, and frank discussions are the norm. We view the masterful delivery of content knowledge, particularly to struggling students, as an art form. It is about eye contact, precision with one’s language, and the ability to pick up on non-verbal cues. As such, each workshop becomes its own community of practice, embracing the gifts and wisdom of all. The workshops require participants to be open to transformational learning possibilities when critical, caring approaches to instruction are infused with a whole-person orientation.


Facilitator Photo

Dr. Pamela Tolbert-Bynum Rivers is founder and president of Steps Beyond Remediation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization that supports adult students whose access to and success in college has been hindered by placement into developmental education, and is Associate Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT). Dr. Rivers received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, in Adult Learning and Leadership. She also possesses a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brown University, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Regent University, and a Master of Education in English from Mississippi College. Her research interests are nontraditional adult students of color and low-income adult learners' college persistence rates, postsecondary education access, and postsecondary success factors for marginalized students.