Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rita Smilkstein, an expert in teaching-learning theory based on brain research and how to teach according to the brain's natural learning process, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the Wallman Hall Auditorium at Fairmont State.

A frequent speaker throughout the U.S. and Canada, Smilkstein's area of expertise is teacher-learning theory based on brain research and how to teach according to the brain's natural learning process. Teachers, parents of home-schooled students and anyone who is interested in learning more about how the brain works is encouraged to attend Smilkstein's lecture, which is being sponsored by Fairmont State Community & Technical College.

Smilkstein's publications include textbooks for teaching study skills and grammar as well as articles on how to apply the brain's natural learning process to curriculum development and instructional methods across the disciplines. She is currently Professor Emerita (English), at North Seattle Community College and, as an invited lecturer, teaches educational psychology at Western Washington University's Woodring College of Education.

Smilkstein has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Speech from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington. She has taught in middle school through graduate school, including 28 years at North Seattle Community College.

She has received a number of teaching awards, including the Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in 1995, 1991; Outstanding Teacher Award, Washington Association of Developmental Education, 1994; Award of Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Education Excellence, Washington Community Colleges/Vocational Technical Institutes Councils, 1991; Burlington Northern Award for Significant and Meritorious Teaching, 1990.