GSE Professor Clark Chinn to give 2017 GSEAA Distinguished Faculty Lecture

March 06, 2017

A prominent meme of 2016 was that of a post-truth world – a world in which emotions and personal convictions matter more than truth or facts, and in which the very existence of truth or facts is questioned. This poses some unique challenges to schools, and their mission to develop critical thinking by their students.

Honoree Clark A. Chinn will address “Teaching Thinking in a Post-Truth World” at the 2017 GSE Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Lecture on April 5 at the Rutgers Club. On the faculty at GSE since 1996, Chinn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association last year.

“The GSEAA is pleased to honor Dr. Chinn for his outstanding contributions to educational psychology. The Distinguished Faculty Award highlights the GSEAA’s commitment to education through celebrating one of our esteemed faculty members,” said Dr. Kathleen Regan, GSEAA vice president. Previous winners include Dr. Bruce Baker, Dr. Carolyn Maher, and Dr. Richard De Lisi, former GSE Dean.

Dr. Chinn’s research on promoting students’ reasoning has been carried out in collaboration with fellow GSE professor Ravit Golan Duncan.  Through their PRACCIS (Promoting Reasoning And Conceptual Change In Science) project, they have developed and investigated an inquiry-based approach to promote reasoning as students work with evidence to develop and evaluate scientific models.

Chinn selected education as a field of study due to an interest in such design work. "I discovered early on that I really found it fascinating to design instruction, and to try to figure out how to make effective learning environments that support students’ learning," said Chinn.

At the lecture, Chinn will explore instructional methods that can address the challenges posed to schools by this post-truth world and promote critical thinking among students who will become our future citizenry. “In a digital age where the reliability of news stories has been called into question, it is now more than ever imperative to prepare our students to use reliable processes to resolve disagreements or controversies," stated Chinn.

Chinn served as Editor of Educational Psychologist from 2011 to 2015 and has authored and co-authored more than 50 journal articles and book chapters. He has received more than $3 million in research grant funds. Chinn has presented at more than a hundred national and international conferences, including as a keynote speaker at the most recent conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The lecture will be followed by dinner and professional development certificates for two credits will also be awarded to attendees. RSVP information for the lecture and dinner can be found at

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