MSU-Northern Faculty Reading Group

Fall 2019 – Exploration, Experimentation, and Risk in the Classroom

This fall, our faculty discussion group will be examining questions of exploration, experimentation, and risk in the context of higher education learning environments. In lieu of a book, we will be reading a series of journal articles and book chapters. Faculty are invited to submit at least one journal article or book chapter that presents an educational perspective related to one or more of the following questions:

  • Why are exploration, experimentation, and risk important for learning and development?
  • What kinds of learning environments enable productive exploration, experimentation, and risk-taking?
  • What cultural, structural, and psychological factors prevent students from engaging in exploration, experimentation and risk?
  • How can faculty promote productive exploration, experimentation, and risk-taking in the classroom?
  • Can efforts to incorporate these values improve students’ persistence in overcoming challenges, insecurities, or anxiety? What is the role of failure in this context?
  • How can instructors measure the success of integrating these values and skill-building opportunities into their teaching?
  • How are these values related to “21st century skills and aptitudes,” such as self-reliance, self-direction, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, etc.?

The discussion group will tentatively meet weekly from September 30th to October 28th on Monday afternoons. Contact Lindsey Brandt-Bennett ( for more information.