Members of the CORE Lab recently presented at the International Conference on Learning held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a group, Dr. John Coley, Dr. Michal Fux, Dr. Nicole Betz, and Emily Dahlgaard Thor from the CORE Lab, along with Lauren Swiney of Warwick University, presented information on intuitive thinking and biology education. This was an interesting point of view for the audience, as they had mostly been familiar with pedagogical methods in biology rather than the cognitive aspects that influence learning. Emily spoke about intuitive language in scientific communication, focusing on how to aid understanding of written information on genetics, while Nicole discussed her findings of human exceptionalist thinking about global climate change, and Michal shared some of her research about how intuitive biology interacts with formal education. 

Among the many fascinating presentations, Emily was compelled by one that discussed the ethical issues regarding the teaching of psychology. She explained that a presenter from Drexel University spoke about the history of teaching psychology and the evolution of ethical rules in psychology. Nicole found the “It Takes a Village” project to be the most interesting; Dr. Jean Rattigan-Rohr from Elon University spoke about Elon students tutoring children from the surrounding community in the subjects of reading, math, and science. The sessions allowed for parents to join their children, providing them the necessary tools to help their children continue learning outside of the sessions as well. 

Northern Ireland is known for its luscious greenery along with its rich history, and the CORE Lab members certainly visited many beautiful sites. Beyond hiking and eateries, the team visited Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and the Botanical Gardens. 

From left: Dr. John Coley, Dr. Nicole Betz, and Emily Dahlgaard Thor

Dr. John Coley introducing the group’s presentations

Dr. Michal Fux presenting

Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

From left: “The Salmon of Knowledge,” Emily Dahlgaard Thor, and Dr. Nicole Betz