Dr. Judith M. Newman


I believe that learning must transform both the learner and the subject matter; it must transcend the traditional boundaries of discipline and culture. We must discover how to create intensive, face-to-face learning environments for both individual and groups of students. We must explore both individual and group learning contracts, alternative assessment modes, learning and teaching on-line, both on and off campus, and in as yet unexplored field settings around the world. We have to help people see complex problems in holistic ways, help them connect ideas from many different places, learn how to work together as members of intellectual teams, to value and tolerate differences, to make decisions based on realistic and appropriate information, and to risk failure and mistakes. We need people who can apply their knowledge in solving present and emerging problems.

I am fascinated by the Internet and its impact on our learning and working lives; I see, there, the potential for an exciting new way of engaging people in learning. Since 1982, I have been exploring information technologies in my own teaching, and creating learning contexts for classroom teachers to think about how these new media could change education.

To provide a glimpse into my teaching I point to the websites produced by educators in two summer institute sessions. In these courses the teachers and administrators were engaged in an invesigation of some aspect of the community. The point was collaboratively to learn something new and find some way of sharing it via the internet. The majority of these people had no prior experience creating web pages; their projects attest to the strength of a collaborative learning environment.