USC Rossier Master Class

Rossier Master Class 2023


USC Rossier’s Master Class was created to spur broad discussions that are central to the mission of the school among our students, faculty and staff.

Education is implicated in many of the world’s problems today: from poverty and inequality, to the prevalence of ignorance related to the threats posed by climate change, disease, environmental degradation, to growing authoritarianism. However, education is also implicated as a potential solution to many of the problems we face.

USC Rossier’s Master Class was created to spur broad discussions that are central to the mission of the School among our students, faculty and staff. Like most academic institutions, we are siloed by our specializations. Our separations by programs and areas of academic focus, contribute to fragmentation and undermine our ability to be more impactful as a school. The Master Class has been created to counter these tendencies. 

Spring 2024 Master Class Series: Artificial Intelligence vs. Authentic Intelligence: Does AI pose a threat to human creativity?

Stephen J. Aguilar black and white profile photo
Josh Kun multi-colored profile photo










Master Class Session 5 on April 2

Master Class Session 4 on March 19

Master Class Session 3 on March 5

Tilting at Windmills? Avoiding Imaginary Enemies in the Quest for Authentic Teaching and Learning

Additional Resources

Master Class Session 2 on February 20

Shouldn’t we call that ‘life’?” Creativity in the Age of AI

Master Class Session 1 on February 6

Teaching Without Humans: How AI Could Hijack Education

Can AI “Hijack” Education?


In this talk I will delve into the rapidly evolving world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the education, posing critical questions about the future role of human teachers. I will highlight the advancements in AI technology, demonstrating how AI systems have become increasingly sophisticated at tasks traditionally performed by human educators, such as grading, personalized lesson planning, and even direct instruction.

Together we’ll examine a scenario where AI could 'hijack' education. We’ll explore various dimensions of this possibility, including the benefits and efficiencies AI brings, such as scalability, consistency, and the ability to offer personalized learning paths for students with diverse needs and learning styles. However, I’ll also discuss the potential downsides of an over-reliance on AI in education. These include the loss of human interaction and mentorship, the risks of data privacy infringement, and the potential for AI to reinforce existing biases or create new ones in education.

Additional Resources

Master Class Sessions from 2023

Consequences of Science and Racism Denial. 

Additional Resources

Racism Denial: What It Is and Where It Comes From?

Additional Resources

What is Science Denial?

Educators and members of the public alike are perplexed by students, family members, and neighbors who avoid vaccinations or believe climate change is a hoax. Democracies depend on educated citizens who can make informed decisions about scientific issues. The COVID-19 pandemic brought these issues into sharp relief. In Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It, Sinatra and Hofer examine the psychological factors contributing to science denial, doubt, and resistance. In the first Master Class of Spring 2023, Dr. Sinatra focused on the themes from her co-authored book including how psychological constructs such as identity, cognitive biases, epistemic cognition, motivated reasoning, and emotions and attitudes contribute to understanding and misunderstanding science. Dr. Sinatra provided research-based solutions to each challenge for individuals, educators, policy makers, and science communicators.

Additional Resources

Master Class Sessions from 2022

Video and additional resources

Teaching to empower and disrupt

Dean Pedro A. Noguera led a conversation about how impactful teaching can advance our common humanity.

Video and additional resources

Solving the Frankenstein problem: Why all learning is social, emotional, cognitive and cultural to the brain.

Professor Immordino-Yang will revisit this central premise from a transdisciplinary developmental and neurobiological perspective. Deep diving into the processes of meaning-making and memory in the mind and brain, she will share data from diverse Los Angeles area students and teachers that challenge our traditional notions of the dichotomy between emotion and cognition, along the way highlighting the power of culture, social experience, and reflective thinking in human personal, intellectual and civic development and wellbeing. She will argue for a Copernican Shift that recenters education around teachers’ and students’ experiences of the thinking process—what it feels like to think, rather than around standardized outcomes and the interventions that aim to impact them.

Video and additional resources

How can education be used as a resource for addressing the major challenges facing the world today, and how might teaching and learning need to be changed for this to occur?

Dean Noguera explores this question in the first Master Class. A central premise of Dean Noguera’s session will be that the most powerful teaching is premised upon an extended dialogue between teacher and student. Drawing on the seminal work of Brazilian educator Paulo Friere, the class will explore how teachers can use listening, dialogue, and empathy to engage students in an educational process based upon collective inquiry and learning. In many respects, this involves a departure from positioning the teacher as the “all knowing expert”, to envisioning teachers as facilitators and guides who reject the idea of teaching students what to think, and embrace their role in supporting students’ development of intellectual capacities and dispositions—teaching how and when to think. If education is to play a role in advancing knowledge and solving problems, the educational process must nurture interpersonal engagement and perspective-taking, curiosity, critical thinking, disciplinary knowledge, ethics and, along the way, a love of learning.

Video and additional resources