January 18, 2008
Hi and welcome to the Teaching Professor Blog! This is a new adventure for us (that’s the folks at Magna who are supporting the blog and me, Maryellen Weimer, long-time editor of the Teaching Professor newsletter). Here’s how we figure: You don’t write a monthly newsletter on teaching, publish a family of higher education newsletters, or sponsor conferences and online seminars without feeling that you have access to a wide set of resources, information and ideas that could profitably be shared in a less formal venue like a blog.
Quite frankly, I don’t know much about blogging … occupational hazard for people in my generational cohort, I’m guessing. But I do know that we need to explore every means possible for communicating ideas and information about teaching and learning. Still today, the vast majority of college teachers have little or no training that prepares them to teach. Still today, college teaching is not treated like a profession, so there are few (if any) norms expecting college teachers to grow and develop their pedagogical knowledge the way they are expected to grow and develop as scholars.
My mom wanted me to become a missionary. That didn’t work out, but I do have a certain missionary zeal about sharing substantive, provocative, intellectually challenging material on teaching and learning. If a blog is something faculty can get motivated to read, I will do my very best to make this a place that increases knowledge and effectiveness in the classroom—all in the interest of more and better learning for students.
In the beginning, we’re going to take some stabs in the dark. We’re going to post a variety of material in different formats, as we work to define a Teaching Professor blog that works for you. Your feedback will help us. Let us know what you like, don’t like, want to see more, or would like to know. And contribute! Share what you know, have learned, or are still in a quandary about.