Anna Switzer


Anna Switzer, Ph.D., is a long-time educator and started her career in the classroom as a high-school Physics and Math teacher. Later, she taught Earth Science (courses and labs) and Oceanography (labs) at the college level. She has also taught pre-service teachers (science) and in-service teachers (K-12, all subjects). Anna earned a BA in Physics (Kenyon College), an MS in Oceanography (North Carolina State University), and a Ph.D. in Education (University of Michigan). She has a strong background in Experiential Education, Project-Based Learning, and Environmental Education. She is a watercolor artist, lives in Oregon, and has written one book (so far) called License to Learn: Elevating Discomfort in Service of Lifelong Learning (2020).

Offered Courses


Course No. ED476t, ED576t

Tuition $380 ‑ $495

Quarter Credits 6

The notion of the “comfort zone” has been in the cultural lexicon for quite a long time. However, not many people talk about what lies outside the comfort zone. While we might recognize that, by definition, discomfort is outside of it, we don’t necessarily understand all the nuances that can be present with discomfort. In this course, you will dive deeply into a metaphorical “map” that helps to define and develop discomfort so that it is useful, nuanced, and not just an unknown sea.