LaGuardia Community College Professor Eduardo Vianna is featured in “Raising Ambitions: The Challenge in Teaching at Community Colleges,” an illuminating New York Times article by Ginia Bellafante.
Vianna’s research and teaching methods, which concentrate on peer learning and student engagement, are very much aligned with the Futures Initiative’s goals. His work has had remarkable results:
Three years ago, Dr. Vianna began a program at LaGuardia called the Peer Activist Learning Community, or P.A.L.C., where students under his guidance gather weekly for sessions of self-directed learning. They often decide together what texts they will read and delve further into. [. . .] Some students have come voluntarily, others have been coaxed into it by Dr. Vianna. But out of approximately 30 students who attended P.A.L.C. sessions regularly for at least one semester, 25 have transferred to four-year colleges.
Much like Futures Initiative Director Cathy Davidson, Vianna finds that techniques promoting peer learning are most effective in the classroom. Vianna attended a keynote that Cathy Davidson gave at LaGuardia Community College earlier this year, and we have begun discussing potential collaborations.