• Educational Development

Eric Fournier, PhD

Director of Educational Development

How Can I Help

I enjoy helping faculty and grad students develop their teaching skills and working with them to design powerful learning experiences for their students. I also keep an eye out for potential partnerships with different schools, departments and centers across the University.

Curriculum Vitae


Eric Fournier, PhD, joined the Center for Teaching and Learning in June 2019 as Director of Educational Development. Prior to joining Washington University, Eric served as Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship at Samford University where he was also a Professor in the Department of Geography and Sociology. His work is driven by the conviction that teaching is a core scholarly activity, and helping faculty grow and develop as effective teachers is central to the mission of the university. In his role as Director of Educational Development, he plans and coordinates activities and helps to develop programs for faculty and for grad students. He also works to build partnerships with schools, departments, and centers across the university.

Eric is an award-winning teacher and leader in higher education. His outstanding teaching has been recognized by The University of Georgia, The National Council for Geographic Education, The Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, and Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences. In 2015 he was named Alabama Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

He is a leader within the discipline of geography having served as President and Board Chair of the National Council for Geographic Education, member of the Geography Education National Implemental Committee, and Chair of the Education Committee for the American Association of Geographers. He served on the Geography Education Roadmap Project funded by NSF and the National Geographic Society and was a faculty development consultant for the Spatial Perspectives and Curriculum Enhancement project funded through UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Spatial Studies.

He has extensive experience working with early-career faculty through his work with the Geography Faculty Development Alliance. This NSF-funded initiative has been hosting intensive week-long workshops for nearly 20 years. Early career faculty gather together to work with experienced facilitators on issues of course planning, time management, active learning, and grant writing. His GFDA work inspired the creation of the Early Career Faculty Teaching and Learning Seminar at Washington University.

Eric is an author on several publications related to teaching and learning, with a particular focus on Problem-based Learning including “Problem-based Learning in Geography: Towards a Critical Assessment of its Purposes, Benefits, and Risks,” which was published in Active Learning and Student Engagement: International Perspectives and Practices in Geography in Higher Education by Routledge in 2010. In addition he has led many workshops and presentations on PBL and other active learning techniques.

Eric is a certified referee for the Mid America Rugby Football Union and a member of the Ukulele Fight Club of Greater St. Louis.