Western University BiologyWestern Science

Helen Battle Lecture 2017

Tom Haffie speaker at the Helen Battle Lecture 2017

The Helen Battle Lecture is slated to take place on Friday March 17, 12:30 pm in BGS 0153. The speaker is Tom Haffie.  The title of the presentation "Biology Education is not complicated; its complex".


Effective teaching and learning in Biology can be particularly challenging for faculty and students in large classes. One potentially useful framework for thinking about such situations is offered by an educational theory called complexivism. Looking out on a sea of students, a complexivist educator sees not a “large class” but, rather, a “small town”. Citizens of a small town have myriad relationships with one another such that the growth and success of the community can be seen as an emergent property of an interactive network. In complexivist terms, learning is an emergent property of a learning network resulting from interactions called “neighbour relations”. My talk will highlight various online tools and face to face strategies we use to energize productive neighbour relations among various members of the First Year Biology network.

Free for all. Food and refreshments provided

About Dr. Helen Battle

Helen Battle

Dr. Helen Battle had a long and highly-distinguished career at Western. She was a Western alumna who graduated with a BA in Honors Zoology in 1923 and completed her MA in 1924. She earned her PhD in Zoology from the University of Toronto in 1928 and was the first woman in Canada to earn a PhD in marine biology. Dr. Battle earned many honours in her lifetime, including the Canada Centennial Medal in 1967, honorary degrees from Western and Carleton, and the UWO Alumni Association Award of Merit. She died in 1994 at the age of 90.