Lately I’ve been wondering if there’s a set of initial assumptions made about teaching and learning that inhibit instructional growth and development. Here is list of a few of these assumptions, and why I think they make teaching excellence less attainable.
Philosophy of Teaching
When reflecting on my experiences as a college professor, several themes from The Wizard of Oz often surface. This well-known story provides a metaphorical view of behaviors that I strive to achieve in my ongoing work with students. In the familiar foursome’s journey to the Emerald City, I see characteristics necessary for teaching excellence—the need to improve, fine-tune and revamp as we travel with students through courses and curricula.
In 2002, Campus Compact, with help from a Carnegie Corporation of New York grant, began investigating best practices in civic engagement. The three-year project looked at community colleges in the first year, which produced a set of resources that community-college leaders can use to help improve engagement with the community.
The project included surveys, telephone interviews, and on-site visits to determine best practices in civic engagement. An important part of this work was the structured interview protocol, which posed the same questions to different groups—administrators, faculty, students, and community members—around 13 indicators of civic engagement.
In his influential Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, Ernest L. Boyer proposed that the definition of “scholarship” be broadened beyond the predominant emphasis on the scholarship of discovery to encompass the scholarship of application, the scholarship of integration, and the scholarship of teaching. What are the objectives of these four different domains of scholarship?