By

Jennifer Priest Mitchell

Professor Michelene (Micki) Chi, the Dorothy Bray Endowed Professor in Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College , has been inducted into an organization whose members include Benjamin Franklin, Jonas Salk and Georgia O’Keefe. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences inducts innovative thinkers and leaders from a wide spectrum of fields each year.

“I was completely surprised and incredibly humbled by this honor,” said Chi. “I had no idea I was nominated.”

The academy’s purpose is to “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” As one of the country's oldest independent policy research centers, the organization convenes leaders from academic, business and government sectors to respond to challenges facing the nation and the world.

Mari Koerner, dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, praised Chi as an innovative academic leader.

“In a college where teaching and learning are of paramount importance, Dr. Chi’s work is especially significant and valued,” Koerner said. “Her research focus on active learning as a model fits so well with the philosophy of what good educators have discussed for years. Her hard work and intelligence has constantly led the way for the learning sciences.”

As a cognitive and learning science researcher, Chi thinks about how students learn and develops interventions that can overcome learning challenges. She uses empirical methods to gather evidence-based findings about new ways to teach complex science concepts. She also studies why some students have difficulties understanding teachers’ instruction.

Among Chi’s most significant contributions is the development of ICAP (Interactive, Constructive, Active, Passive), a learning framework. This theoretical framework provides operational definitions for different ways that students can engage with instruction and instructional materials. These definitions can be translated to specific actions for teachers.

Chi is currently exploring how to leverage the effectiveness of one-on-one tutoring sessions by capturing tutorial dialogue on video for possible instructional use to benefit those for whom one-on-one tutoring is not possible. This work shows the potential of scaling up the advantage of one-to-one tutoring, which is a highly successful, but expensive and time-consuming form of teaching.

Chi joins just 11 other ASU faculty members inducted since 1974 . She, along with other 2016 inductees, will attend a formal ceremony recognizing new members in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.