Being the Change

2020-21 BTC Calendar: Séan McCarthy


In his seven years at JMU, Seán McCarthy has worked with more than 20 faculty members from nearly as many disciplines teaching hundreds of students to address what he calls “wicked problems.” Together, they’ve tackled such issues as homelessness, opioid addiction, and using drones for environmental research. And while students strive to create solutions, the aim isn’t the so-called right answer. The aim is education without the traditional tools of textbooks, lectures and tests: flipping the classroom, developing students as experts, and facilitating the production of big ideas. McCarthy explains, “It’s about as far away from traditional chalk and talk as you can get.” While he was a doctoral student, he innovated novel ways of teaching, conducting research related to new media and pedagogy. McCarthy came to JMU as a Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communications professor soon after he received his PhD in Digital Literacies and Literatures from the University of Texas at Austin. Today, he’s enthusiastic and grateful to be implementing his ideas and innovative teaching approaches in the JMU X-Labs.

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Published: Friday, October 4, 2019

Last Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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