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Six Ways to Improve Your Department’s Teaching Climate

In the same way a classroom’s climate is created jointly by teacher and student actions, a department’s teaching climate results from collective contributions. Of course, department chairs and other administrators play key leadership roles, but they alone are not responsible for creating the teaching climate. We all contribute by what we say and do regarding teaching. Sometimes we say and do nothing, and this too becomes part of the culture.

Academics lead busy lives, and our first teaching priority must be what we do in our courses. Good teaching takes time, and it does make a positive contribution to the climate within a department. Do we have a responsibility to do more? That’s probably a decision best made individually. Sometimes we are willing to do more but are bereft of ideas. I can help on that front. Here are some actions that can advance the teaching and learning agenda. Please feel free to add to the list.