John W. Hagen, PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

Presentation 1: Learning Effectively and Utilizing Diversity
Hagen has developed undergraduate courses at various levels in learning by utilizing the Learn Lab at the University of Michigan. Steelcase Company, which is doing innovative work in high school and college classrooms, provided it to the university. The lab’s rooms have no front or rear, include three smart boards, tables and chairs on wheels, huddle boards, cameras, and other features. Data that support the advantages of learning in this flexible type of setting are available as is extensive information about how learning is promoted at several other universities. 

Presentation 2: Trends in Research in Child Psychology and Developmental Science
Both historical and contemporary data have been gathered from coding contents of the leading journals in the field, dating back to the 1930s. The findings show dramatic changes in topics studied as well as theory and methods used. We also can demonstrate that in the past two decades that major changes have occurred in the subjects studied, including race, ethnicity and nationality; and in the characteristics of subjects studied such as mental-health problems and learning disabilities. In addition, there are interesting interactions among the categories coded. For example, studies of adolescents are more likely to focus on atypicality or pathology, and this effect is greater if they involve males or African-Americans. 

Presentation 3: Positive Development in Emerging Adulthood
Youth development is a flourishing area of study, but until recently little work was focused on the transition to adulthood in college undergraduates. Using an Assets Approach, an instrument has been developed that is designed to predict success, and ultimately to identify "thriving indicators" such as academic achievement, leadership, and overcoming adversity. We now have data on a substantial number of students from our campus as well as a few others. The students are in one of three groups: undergraduates at residential universities, undergraduates who are varsity student athletes, and students with learning disabilities. Patterns of success have been identified across the three groups with some striking differences among them.

Speaker Background:
Hagen’s current work is concerned with cognition and motivation in students from preschool and elementary to high school and college age. Hagen is past executive officer of the Society for Research in Child Development (1989-2007).

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