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This presentation explores ideas for teachers on how to get their students to engage within the classroom and how to keep their students on topic.

Jim La Prad is an associate professor of Education at Western Illinois University teaching courses in the social foundations of education from philosophical, historical, legal, and socio-cultural perspectives. His research, scholarship and practice include critical pedagogy in teaching and learning environments, experiential education, educational ethics, moral education, and transformative educational leadership. He received his B.S. in Metallurgical and Material Science Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia. Prior to his current appointment, his experiences include service abroad as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps; teaching high school physics, earth science, and physical science; facilitating community service learning experiences for both high school and college students in Appalachia; and teaching middle school math and science for the Discovery Program, a nationally recognized "school within a school" experiential and integrated curriculum program for a heterogeneous population that emphasized academic, physical, and emotional learning equally.

Additionally, he has worked with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine and North Carolina Outward Bound School. He has facilitated workshops and presented at international, national, and regional conferences. Recently, the National Society for Experiential Education honored him as NSEE’s 2008 Experiential Education Higher Education Leader of the Year.

Andy Mink is director of Outreach and Education for the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia. He creates and leads experiential professional development opportunities for K-12 and university educators that focus on content, on methodology, and on assessment. With a specific focus on history education, his primary interests lie in the development of learning expeditions for educators that inform and transform their classroom practice. After graduating from the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina with degrees in history, Andy Mink taught for ten years in a rural middle school in central Virginia. In 1996, he founded and served as director of The Discovery Program, a nationally recognized “school within a school” experiential education and integrated curriculum program. More recently he has worked as a school design consultant for Expeditionary Learning Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, and Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) in Annapolis, Maryland. The National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) honored him as the National Educator of the Year in 2003. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Outward Bound School.

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Engaging the Disengaged with Experiential Learning