HILT Grants Announced
The Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT), which launched its activities with a University-wide symposium in February, has announced the winners of a first round of HILT grants to members of the Harvard community. A nine-member faculty committee winnowed 255 letters of intent to determine the short list of candidates for the final selection, which was made by President Drew Faust and Provost Alan Garber. On April 17 they announced 47 winners of grants to support work advancing the learning and teaching endeavor, with funding coming from a $40-million gift to Harvard by Gustave Hauser, J.D. ’53, and Rita Hauser, L ’58.
The awardees include Jeffrey Schnapp and Jesse Shapins (mentioned in Harvard Magazine's cover article on the digital humanities), for their proposal to expand object-based teaching in the humanities, and the Japan Digital Archive (discussed at length in the same article); Bruce Western of the sociology department and Harvard Kennedy School, and Kaia Stern of the Divinity School, to develop a joint experiential-learning course for incarcerated students and Harvard students; and physics professor Eric Mazur, an advocate for the concept of "active learning" featured in “Twilight of the Lecture,” who plans to “to develop tools for automatically analyzing student behavior, promoting richer interactions between students and teachers, and optimizing peer instruction in large lecture classes.”
The $2 million in awards, given for the most part as grants of $50,000 or less for funding in 2012 and 2013, are the first phase of a multiyear plan of grants. The grants are underwritten by the Hauser donation, intended to stimulate innovation in learning and pedagogy at Harvard and around the world.