In cooperation with the Cazenovia Public Library and the Manlius Library, Cazenovia College has announced the 14th season of its Faculty Library Lecture Series: “Great Minds/Great Ideas.”
The 2017-18 series features noted faculty members from Cazenovia College whose topics cover the breadth and depth of the liberal arts — from the photography of the world’s animal species to the psychology of insights to the impact of The McGuffey Reader on American education. Ample time for questions and conversation follow each presentation.
Dr. Tiffany Coyle’s lecture, “William Holmes McGuffey: Teaching millions of Americans to read,” examines the work of William Holmes McGuffey who is known for his elementary school reading books titled “The McGuffey Reader.” These readers, which sold more than 122 million copies between 1836 and 1925, taught more Americans how to read than any other textbook.
This lecture will cover how these readers helped standardize American English, and create a curriculum that reflected prevailing American moral and religious values; the current uses of these texts — their modern iterations and influences; and common complaints regarding these texts. McGuffey’s success with these readers is made more notable by his lack of formal education before his start as a teacher at the age of 14.
Coyle, assistant professor, education, will give her presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Cazenovia Public Library, 100 Albany St., Cazenovia, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Ave., Manlius.
Dr. Ezra Wegbreit’s lecture, “The Eureka Moment: The psychology of insights from the time of Archimedes to the present day,” will focus on the “aha!” moments we all get from time to time — those sudden bursts of insight that allow us to break through a stubborn problem we’ve been stuck on.
From the time of the Greek scientist Archimedes and his eureka moment, humanity has been fascinated by these solutions that seem to come from nowhere. Insightful solutions to difficult problems have a long and interesting history, with many other great minds experiencing them, including physicist Albert Einstein, mathematician Henri Poincaré and chemist August Kekulé.
A small, but growing, scientific literature has examined the psychology of insights, including work by Dr. Wegbreit. He will discuss the history, mythology and psychology of insightful problem solving, with the audience having a chance to potentially solve some problems with insights.
Wegbreit, assistant professor, psychology, will give his presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Ave., Manlius, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Cazenovia Public Library, 100 Albany St., Cazenovia
The Faculty Library Lecture Series was made possible through the funding and support of Pat Stacy Healey, class of 1962, and Helen Stacy.
For more information, visit cazenovia.edu/greatminds or contact the Cazenovia Public Library at 315-655-9322; The Manlius Library at 315-682-6400; or the project director of the Cazenovia College Faculty Library Lecture Series, Sarah Cross at 315-655-7679.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.