Bard Faculty

Michelle Hoffman

Assistant Director, Institute for Writing and Thinking

Academic Program Affiliation(s): First-Year Seminar


BSc, Concordia University; MA, PhD, University of Toronto; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Philosophy of Science, American University of Central Asia (2013–15) and Bard College (2015–16). Michelle Hoffman teaches in the Philosophy Program and First-Year Seminar, and has previously taught in the Bard Prison Initiative as well as the Language and Thinking Program. Professor Hoffman is a historian of science and education whose research focuses on the history of transfer of training research in educational psychology. Experimental research in transfer of training, which reaches back to the turn of the 20th century, aims to determine how—and to what extent—learning skills acquired in one area transfer to other domains, a question that strikes at the core of teachers’ work.

Publications include: “Just a Theory: The Atomic Theory Debate and High School Chemistry Teaching, 1905–1917” in Historical Studies of the Natural Sciences; “Shunning the Bird’s Eye View: The Adoption of General Science in Quebec and Ontario Secondary Schools,” in Science & Education; “Learning in the Lab: The Introduction of ‘Practical’ Science Teaching in Ontario’s High Schools in the 1880s,” in Learning by Doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching (Stuttgart: Verlag, 2011); and “Longevity in a Bottle? Aging and Rejuvenation in Medicine and Literature,” in Ideas: The Arts and Science Review. At Bard since 2015.


Phone: 845-758-6822 x7432
Department: Institute for Writing and Thinking
Location: Brook House