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Alumni Weekend: Keynote speakers to explore the question of how we learn

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John Dizikes

John Dizikes, during his 35-year career at UC Santa Cruz, was a professor of history, a professor and co-founder of the American Studies Department, and a provost of Cowell College. He has a wide breadth of knowledge, and a passion for teaching and learning.

A distinguished group of speakers will explore the question, “How do we learn?,” at a brand-new Alumni Weekend event that will range from the world of virtual reality to the potentials of adaptive learning techniques and the importance of mentorship.

This TED Talks–style “welcome keynote” celebration will take place at 7 p.m., April 29, at the Stevenson Event Center. The talk will include the celebrated professor emeritus of American studies and founding UC Santa Cruz faculty member John Dizikes; notable alumni author Lawrence Weschler (Cowell ’74, philosophy and western civilization); and special guests, including psychology professor Steve Whittaker, a professor in human-computer interaction, and Ted Warburton, theater arts professor.

Alumni Weekend is April 28–May 1, 2016. Events are centered on campus, with some events in other nearby locations in the Santa Cruz area.

Dizikes, during his 35-year career at UC Santa Cruz, was a professor of history, a professor and co-founder of the American Studies Department, and a provost of Cowell College. He has a wide breadth of knowledge, and a passion for teaching and learning.

When he addresses the crowd that evening, Dizikes will draw from his long career, but he’ll also tap into the lessons he learned from his own mentors.

When asked to address the mystery of learning, Dizikes said there is no substitute for caring and attentive teachers who can engage and draw out students in a thoughtful way.

During his teaching career, he loved those “marvelous moments when the light went on in students’ eyes, and I could tell something had registered,” he said. “It’s important that you help them discover these things for themselves.”

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