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Weber State University teacher education professor Forrest Crawford will give 2012’s annual ‘Last Lecture’ next Wednesday, Oct. 17. The lecture will take place in the Smith Auditorium, Room 206 of the Wattis Business Building, at 1:30 p.m.
The Last Lecture is an annual lecture sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Forum. Each year, an honoree is given the opportunity to say what he or she would like to say, imagining it as his or her last lecture ever.
“The series is based around the thought of what would you say if you could only speak one last time,” said Sheila Carrion, office manager for the Teaching and Learning Forum. “What would be your lasting legacy? What do you want people to take away from you if you were to all of a sudden disappear?”
Carrion said this is the 10th year the series has taken place.
Crawford has worked at WSU since 1977 and, in addition to being a professor, is the assistant to the president for diversity at WSU. In addition to his work at WSU, Crawford also serves as the secretary general for the International Society for Teacher Education, an organization for sharing and exchanging research ideals, professional development, and pedagogical instruction.
Crawford’s lecture will be titled ‘Teaching For Humanity: Affirming Reverence as a Pedagogical Imperative.” Crawford said that, overall, the lecture is about better understanding the importance of the teaching and learning process as an interwoven construct, but that he especially wanted to examine the importance of reverence.
“I want to focus on the notion of reverence, because we do have such diverse learners and diverse ideals that are part of the rich dynamics of classroom instruction and classroom discussion,” Crawford said.
Crawford said he focused on reverence for two reasons: “One, to make sure that our faculty factors into their facilitating learners the importance of respect and appreciation for the varying thoughts and opinions that are encouraged. But I also wanted to focus on reverence for the purposes of helping students to understand that, when they express the views that they have, to factor into their deliberations the opportunity to value and appreciate others who have differing perspectives.”
Crawford said he wanted to emphasize that learning should take place for the purpose of making better citizens, not making ‘A’ students.
Honorees for the Last Lecture are chosen through the Teaching and Learning Forum. In choosing, the office calls for nominations from students and faculty for outstanding WSU staff. After several individuals stand out by receiving the most nominations, the process goes to a committee with those names, and the committee then picks the honoree.
“I’m just happy that it’s not my official last lecture,” Crawford joked, “but it is an honor to be selected from among our faculty. I consider it a high honor to stand as that representative.”