Public Lecture by Visiting Scholar Robert Duke  
Presented in collaboration with the Office of the President, as part of the McMaster Seminar on Higher Education
Monday, March 10, 2014 – 1:30-3:00 p.m.  
Council Chambers – GH 111


 

Image: Robert DukeIn 1959, Jerome Bruner correctly observed that “The school boy learning physics is a physicist, and it is easier for him to learn physics by behaving like a physicist than doing anything else” (1960, p. 72). Since that time, research in psychology and neuroscience has deepened our understanding of the fundamental principles of human learning. Yet much of what we do in public and private education at all levels of instruction seems to effectively ignore these principles. What’s up with that? We will discuss the reasons why formal education often fails to make substantive and lasting changes in how learners think and behave, and we’ll consider how to design learning experiences that lead to advantageous changes in cognition, affect, and behavior, all of which are components of expertise in every discipline.

Robert Duke is the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Elizabeth Shatto Massey Distinguished Fellow in Teacher Education, and Director of the Center for Music Learning. He is also directs the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. The most recent recipient of MTNA’s Frances Clarke Keyboard Pedagogy Award, Dr. Duke has directed national research efforts under the sponsorship of such organizations as the National Piano Foundation and the International Suzuki Institute. His research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, including motor skill learning, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. His most recent work explores procedural memory consolidation and the cognitive processes engaged during musical improvisation. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction and The Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University. 

The McMaster Seminar on Higher Education: Practice, Policy, and Public Life is a new lecture series presented by the Office of the President. The aim of the annual series is to encourage dialogue and inspire critical thought within the McMaster and the broader Hamilton communities. It is intended that the topics will be timely, interdisciplinary, and far-reaching, guided by the key questions and challenges facing higher education institutions and the communities they serve. In considering and challenging current paradigms, the series will be both thought-provoking and imaginative. It will emphasize the importance to the academy, and to society as a whole, of thinking critically and engaging in meaningful discussion of challenging issues. The series is intended to be of relevance for a wide audience and all members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend.