CTL: Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty and Presentations in Liberal Arts & Sciences Humanities, Social Sciences, Computer Science, Chemistry


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Dr. Christa Davis, Associate Professor of Movement and Sports Sciences

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Why is it so hard for grandma to answer my text?  Why is it so easy for “Pickleball-Pro Pete” to play tennis?  What is a motion capture system and how can we use it to understand movement and sport?  How does attention, motivation, and genetics influence my success as a future Olympian or weekend warrior?  We will solve these mysteries and more, as we understand nuances of motor learning, control and performance!

Key words:  motor learning, motion capture system, motivation, attention, performance


  1. 9-12.PE.2.1.2 Apply internal and external feedback independently to assess and refine skills. Transfer previously learned skills and apply them to the learning of new skills
  2. 9-12.PE.3.1.2 Apply knowledge of skill-related fitness components including agility, coordination, balance, power, reaction time, and speed to improve performance
  3. 9-12.H.2.1.3 Evaluate how the school and community can affect personal health practice and behaviors.
  4. 9-12.H.1.1.4 Analyze how genetics and family history can affect personal health.


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Dr. Collin Fehr, Assistant Professor of Movement and Sport Sciences


Not only do Americans need to meet physical activity guidelines, they need to spend less time sitting. Exercise does not replace sedentary behavior. Sitting is the new smoking EVEN for regular exercisers if they spend significant periods of time sitting. This presentation will include a definition of sedentary behavior, the risks of sitting too much, and a discussion of creative ways to include more physical activity in your day.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Movement, Health

Standards: PE Standard 5 - Valuing a Physically Active Lifestyle


Is sport psychology just for athletes? Or can non-athletes use sport psychology principles too? It turns out, the mental skills in sport psychology can be used by ANYONE! Some people use them to enhance their performance in school. Musicians use them for an upcoming concert. Others use them in their relationships. The applications of sport psychology go beyond the realm of athletics. This presentation will include a discussion of prominent sport psychology principles and how they can be applied in non-sport domains.

Keywords: Mental skills, Performance

Standards: Health Education Standards 4, 5, 6 (Grades 9-12)



Dr. Sarah Graham, Assistant Professor of Music

Presentation 1: Choral Ensemble Clinic

Should your choral ensemble be preparing for a contest, festival, or other kind of adjudication, a choral clinic can be a great opportunity to engage a fresh set of ears to reinforce teaching, encourage your singers, and make suggestions for performance, rehearsal, and repertoire. Dr. Graham has experience working with choirs of all ages, sizes, and ability levels and brings a positive and inspiring perspective in her clinics with singers. Having taught both middle and high school choral music, she brings competent experience to clinics and adjudicating.

Keywords: Choir, music

Standards: Clinics are designed to support the Idaho Arts and Humanities Content Standards in Music through addressing Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation; Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation; Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work; Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work; Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work; Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work; Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art; and Anchor Standard 11: Relate ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

PRESENTATION 2: Unpacking the music of enslaved Africans in the United States

Field Hollers, Ring Shouts, Spirituals, Work Songs, and Freedom Songs are foundational to understanding most American popular music. When looked at as primary source documents, they provide a rich view into the culture, psychology, and experience of the enslaved African people in the early days of the United States. W.E.B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass both refer to the singing of enslaved Africans in their writing, which shed light on the dual nature of this music. This session is appropriate for English classes studying interpretation or Civil War period literature, and for history or social studies classes studying the Civil War period. Additionally, this session is relevant to music ensemble classes rehearsing and performing music of the African American Spiritual genre.

Keywords: U.S. History, History, Text, Slavery, Music, Spirituals, Music Appreciation

Standards: This session is designed to support the Idaho Arts and Humanities Content Standards in Interdisciplinary Humanities through addressing Anchor Standard 1: Connect and compare ideas, diverse cultures, and events through two or more disciplines (i.e. music, history, literature); Anchor Standard 2: Respond to universal themes, issues, and/or movements that express the human experience; and Anchor Standard 5: Reflect on the process of creating/interpreting/presenting a work.


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Dr. Leif Hoffmann, Associate Professor of Political Science

Presentation 1: The Logic of Politics: Interests, Institutions, Ideas

The presentation will briefly present a small cross-section of in-class activities and strategies that have been developed to teach some fundamental social science concepts to students in introductory US politics courses. The audience will be encouraged to actively engage in these activities to explore for instance why we have the impression of an imperial presidency, why there is so much money in politics, why we talk about “too” much feds’ power and a “do-nothing” Congress as well as why it is so difficult to extend civil rights.

Keywords: American Government, Presidency, Congress, Civil Rights, Logic, Critical Thinking, Campaigning & Money in Politics

Standards: Social Studies: Goal 4.2., Goal 4.4. and Goal 4.5

Presentation 2: The Logic of Spatial Relations: Why Geography Matters

The presentation will focus on a small cross-section of in-class activities and strategies that have been developed to teach some fundamental concepts to students in introductory geography and social science courses. The audience will be encouraged to actively engage in these activities to reflect on the importance of geography on national security, to business relations and to a better understanding of cultural diversity through the exploration of distance decay, mental maps, cultural influences on the awareness of spatial relations, and the critical analysis of maps and texts.

Keywords: Geography, Global Perspectives, Interdependence, Diversity, Spatial Relations, Critical Thinking, Distance Decay, Mental Maps, National Security

Standards: Social Studies: Goal 2.1., Goal 2.2., Goal 2.4., Goal 2.5., Goal 5.1

Presentation 3: Fake News?: A brief look at the news media & biases

Fear that American news organizations are systematically and deliberately misleading the public has recently reached its crescendo with the incumbent U.S. president not only regularly calling news coverage “fake news”, but going so far as labeling the mainstream media as the “enemy of the people”. This presentation takes a closer look - through in-class activities and lecture material - at the three major categories of media biases: affective, informational, and partisan. Students will be encouraged to reflect on why affective and information biases are much more ubiquitous than the commonly discussed partisan biases.

Keywords: Media, Media literacy, News, Critical Thinking, American Government, Fourth Branch, Biases, Media Ownership

Standards: Social Studies: Goal 3.2, Goal 4.1, Goal 4.2., Goal 4.4., Goal 4.5



Dr. Matt Johnston, Professor of Chemistry

Radioactivity and Radiation

Overview of radioactivity and radiation, including major modes of decay, half life and applications of radioactivity.

Keywords: Radioactivity, radiation, fission, atomic structure

Standards: PSC1-HS-4. Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and other types of radioactive decay.


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Dr. Nina Peterson, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Pacemakers, Hackers, and Helpers: What is a Computer Scientist?

A Computer Scientist is someone who saves lives by programming a pacemaker. A Computer Scientist is someone who prevents malicious hacks of hospital computers. A Computer Scientist is someone who makes screen reader applications that allow the blind community to be able to use a computer. Let’s explore what a Computer Scientist does and get some hands-on practical experience building an app!

Keywords: Programming, coding, computer science, critical thinking, problem solving

Standards: 9-10.1C.11 and 11-12.IC.09


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Dr. Peter Remien, Associate Professor of English

Presentation 1: Witchcraft in Shakespeare's Macbeth

My presentation explores the role of witchcraft in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. Considering historical context, poetry, and contemporary ideas about witchcraft, we will collaboratively interpret key passages and themes from the play. Lessons will include reading, writing, and brief performance.

Keywords: William Shakespeare, drama, theater, poetry, literature, tragedy, Scottish History, English Renaissance, witchcraft

Standards: L.9-10.5 and L.11-12.5

Presentation 2: Love Poetry in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is both a celebration of young love and a cautionary tale about its excesses. My presentation will explore the role of love poetry in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Considering historical context, poetic form, and ideas about love, we will collaboratively interpret Shakespeare's famous tragedy. Activities include reading, writing, and brief performance.

Keywords: William Shakespeare, English Renaissance, poetry, the sonnet, drama, tragedy, literary form

Standards: L.9-10.5 and L.11-12.5