Episode 33 - Problem Solving and Critical Thinking During the Time of COVID-19 with Dr. Gregory Light (Part 1)
Join Amina as she interviews Dr. Gregory Light from the University of Toronto , who discusses problem solving and critical thinking during the time of COVID-19 and why critical thinking is essential in education settings, particularly higher education settings, in order for us to solve pressing issues today including racial inequality and other social injustices as well as climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Light discusses the difference between surface approaches and deep approaches to learning, and gives insight on how faculty and teachers can cultivate critical thinking in their classrooms to help teach students to engage in creative, effective, and innovative problem solving. Dr. Gregory Light served as the director of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching for 15 years at Northwestern University where he was instrumental to innovative change across the university. Currently, he is a member of the advisory boards for the University of Toronto and for the new American University of Sicily. After retirement, Dr. Light has published more than a dozen new papers, chapters and presentations as well as a co-written a book on Reflective Teaching in Higher Education that was published in the U.K. March. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, often collaborating with others. One of his most recent international projects has been in the Middle East and South America, and he has consulted with universities around the world -- on every continent except Antarctica. He has delivered more than 150 invited talks, keynotes and workshops on a wide range of topics related to pedagogy and learning in higher and professional education. He has been crucial in conceptualizing and implementing wide-ranging programs, from tailored sessions and workshops, assessments and curriculum support to program evaluations across Northwestern University that focus on evidence-based learning. While at Northwestern University, Dr. Light collaborated on 10 major grant-funded projects, including the Gateway Science Workshop program (Mellon Foundation); Northwestern University Ventures in Biology Education (Howard Hughes Medical Institute); the CLIMB program (National Institutes of Health), the Critical Thinking in STEM (National Science Foundation) and the Palestinian Faculty Development Program. He has served on numerous committees to enhance the culture of learning, including the University Diversity Council, the Educational Technologies Advisory Committee, the University Course and Teaching Evaluation Committee, the University Council on Assessment and Accreditation and the University Classroom Committee. A committed educator, Light also was pivotal in the reconfiguration of the Masters of Higher Education Administration Program in 2002; he taught in the program as well as served in an advisory role for over 13 years. He has mentored many students and colleagues throughout the years adhering to a philosophy of building capacity in others and inclusive excellence.