Katherine H. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Professor & Coordinator
I am often asked how I became interested in helping people learn how to learn. As an elementary and special education teacher for ten years, I watched too many students fall through the cracks and live with the emotional burden of lack of learning success. I taught in schools for where there were many children from low income families and minority cultures and witnessed the impact of their marginalization. As a result, I vowed to find ways to meet the needs of nontraditional and underachieving students. I began to make a difference by focusing on cognitive processing, affect, motivation, and mediated learning as a framework for helping teachers facilitate learning in a safe place where students can develop an understanding of the hidden ruless of learning, build personal learning strategies, and participate as collaborative learner-practitioners.
In 1986-87, I received a Fulbright Research Scholar award to work with Reuven Feuerstein and colleagues at the Hadassah-WIZO Canada Research Institute in Israel. This work culminated in development of the Cognitive Enrichment Advantage(CEA) approach (known as COGNET prior to publication). CEA is based primarily on Feuerstein’s Theory of Mediated Learning Experience and other related theories and research in the areas of cognitive pyschology and collaborative learning. From 1988-1995, CEA/COGNET was one of 12 national models for the U.S.D.E. Follow Through Program. With more than 1.4 million dollars granted to the project at the university, we were able to complete 14 studies demonstrating the effectiveness of COGNET in improving student achievement and changing the way teachers interact with students over time. This led to a national award to COGNET as a validated/proven educational approach. We also learned a great deal about being long-term partners with schools and families engaged in educational change projects.
CEA has been translated into Spanish, Flemish, and Portuguese and used in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. This has led to opportunities to collaborate with educators and researchers in many countries and greatly enhanced my understanding of cultures, learning and the psychology of change.
While earlier research led to a national validation award for CEA, my recent research interests focus on the phenomenology of teaching and learning, where I am working with others to explore the human experiences of teaching and learning in many different settings. I also publish and teach about dynamic assessment. My courses attract students across all programs in the department and others interested in cognitive education, mediated learning, how to facilitate change, and the needs of underachieving and nontraditional learners.
I also enjoy providing service to the university and my church. I have been chair of an editorial board for the Journal of Cognitive Education, President of the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology, and President of the University’s Faculty Senate August 1, 2001. Currently, I serve as one of three Faculty Ombudspersons on the UTK campus and am President of my church congregation.
When not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, my two daughters and son-in-law, and going to dinner and movies with friends. In August, 2006, our first grandchild, Katie is born! I also read mysteries and some occasional good literature just before I fall asleep each night.