The PEAR Lab is young, but shows great promise! In our first two years of operation, we have made exciting strides in both organizational development, as well as programmatic implementation.
- June 2014:
- We signed a convention with diverse regional government and education partners in Atsimo Andrefana Madagascar to serve as curriculum development and international coordination partners for Betanimena Station!
- October 2012 - April 2013:
- We assembled a richly diverse and highly talented International Advisory Board, including some leading researchers in various fields relevant to our work.
- We successfully completed 3 rounds of our pilot core-course for Educational Psychology undergrads, based on the EvoS Model
- Besides an education on the Unified Human Sciences and the evolution of the Moral Brain; these courses also resulted in 100% of Educational Psych students being trained in the internet, and the use of their new G-mail accounts (~90% were "very unfamiliar" with the internet, many had never touched a computer)
- The PEAR lab began work to create and curate a comprehensive e-learning resource (within this website) to support and connect students across UoT departments.
- The NEEPS talk was well received and has led to numerous exciting advancements:
- We were generously awarded $4,000 in seed funding from The Good Nature Institute, whose directors were in the NEEPS audience!
- We are exploring a really interesting partnership across SUNY University campuses (Oswego and Oneonta) as well as the SUNY-COIL (Collaborative Online International Leadership) Program and EvoS
- This collaboration is resulting in the current planning for 2 courses during the Fall 2013/Winter 2014 that will actually connect Uni-Toliara students with SUNY students to co-explore (digitally) moral psychology and human development from an evolutionary perspective!
- Dustin submitted a paper for peer review, based on the NEEPS talk - both were titled "The Moral Brain as Content and Context for Educational Innovation in Southwestern Madagascar"
- the PEAR Lab implemented an applied seminar titled "The Moral Sociology of Biopolitics"; in which IST-Agriculture students are engaged in research on the contentious subject of Genetically Modified Organisms in Madagascar's agricultural systems. Using theories from moral psychology and contextual behavioral sciences, the course is designed to "slow down" student's moral reasoning and allow them to experience the discourse on this topic from a more open, perspective taking stance.
- In July 2013, Approximately 40 Educational Psychology students have organized into small groups to develop Service-Learning projects in regional primary and secondary schools, where a smorgasbord of leading edge of evidence-based practices will be experimented with and analyzed. One simple example is "The Good Behavior Game", in which the environmental factors of the classroom are effectively shaped in ways that "select" for prosocial behaviors amongst students. Its been proven incredibly effective - let's see how it goes for Madagascar! Other projects are being developed around the themes of Democracy & Education, Youth & Society, and Science & Religion.
- We developed the Universities first student-led, democratically managed committee for the management of information technologies across all UoT departments!