Reinventing Her Classroom

Allison Butler, M. Ed., Ph.D., always loved school. Growing up, her appreciation for the art and science of teaching and learning grew as well.

 Teaching elementary school early in her career inspired Butler to understand the complexities of children’s learning and cognition, so she pursued her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology. Her current research focuses on learning and cognition in K-12 populations, environmental influences on children, and higher education pedagogy.

“Serving on the Faculty Planning Committee for Bryant’s new Academic Innovation Center opened my eyes to the ways cutting-edge learning environments and instructional technology can support innovative pedagogy to promote deeper engagement and learning,” says Butler.

A Faculty Innovation Grant helped her learn how to teach in a “flipped” classroom. She then introduced the new pedagogy in an upper-level child psychopathology course. The result: Outside of class, her students take notes while watching 15- to 25-minute video lectures Butler recorded using her iPhone, freeing class time for guest speakers, for example a researcher studying childhood aggression; case studies; discussion and small group activities; book clubs that delve into memoirs of parents whose children are autistic or who had childhood-onset schizophrenia.

The Faculty Innovation Grants, Butler says, are “an impetus for growth and change and invention in my own teaching.”


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