Teacher training and professional development never really ends, but is a career-long pursuit by educators and college administrators. Look to Faculty Focus for ongoing, self-directed learning opportunities.
The past 10 years have witnessed some massive growing pains in education. Nearly all aspects at all levels have been touched by efforts to reform in an attempt to create meaningful learning opportunities for today’s students. New tools, skills, approaches, and media have redefined the way we create those experiences, and educators who don’t learn and engage in them will see themselves become increasingly irrelevant. In short, faculty development now more than ever is necessary to an institution’s viability.
March 18 - Embracing the Creative Side of Teaching
The longer I teach, the more I see teaching as a highly creative endeavor. Initially, a more mechanical view prevailed for me. In my earlier years as a teacher, I undertook a more formula-like approach by following a behaviorist stance of stimulus-response. If I do X, then my students would do Y, I reasoned. Of course, teaching is never that simple. There are so many intervening factors. And, there is limitless room for alternate ways to address teaching challenges.
March 17 - What Can We Learn from Self Doubt?
I would like to be able say of my teaching: this is clearly good; this is clearly not good. I would like to be able to think: I always do things right. I would like to be certain.
Magna Publications, the leading provider of professional development resources for the higher education community, today issued a Call for Proposals for the 2014 Teaching Professor Technology Conference to be held Oct. 10-12 in Denver.
December 17 - A Checklist for Effective Faculty Development Programs
Faculty development has become a priority at many academic institutions as a way to improve the quality of academic programs and to respond to emerging faculty, student, program, and industry needs.
December 13 - Faculty Respond to the Challenge: Write about Teaching and Learning for Nine Weeks Straight
What does professional development look like? A couple of the more traditional examples might include reading a book, sitting in a room full of educators discussing a particular topic, or traveling to a conference. Certainly, those are all ways we can learn to improve our craft.
December 6 - Modeling Scholarly Practice Using Your Syllabus
I recently attended the annual conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). The conference allowed me to reflect on questions about the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning, and it fueled thoughts that eventually led to this article on how we might go about modeling scholarly practice.
As a college faculty member, you speak to audiences both large and small on a daily basis. You know how to deliver information, create learning opportunities, and build engagement. And yet, presenting at a professional conference brings a whole new set of challenges. How do you establish credibility and authority among your peers? How do you make your session relevant for those who, unlike your students, have at least some familiarity with the topic?
September 9 - Six Steps for Turning Your Teaching into Scholarship
In 1997 Ernest Boyer identified the concept of the Scholarship of Teaching. This was the first time that TEACHING had been identified as legitimate scholarship. Over time this idea has evolved into the movement called “SoTL” or the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Many of us are scholarly teachers; we read the literature, plan, assess, reflect, and revise. But what makes our teaching scholarship is very different. Lee Shulman (1999) clearly delineated the difference. To be scholarship, teaching must become public, be an object of critical review and evaluation by members of one’s community, and it must be built upon and developed.
Innovation and creativity are two words heard frequently in higher education today. How can we encourage innovation and creativity in ourselves and our students? Reimers-Hild and King (2009) described components of innovation as fun, creative, diverse, collaborative, and intuitive. Taking small steps to accomplish this goal is the way to go, but there needs to