Faculty Development Matters: Institutional Interests

Decorative: "Faculty Development"


1. "Faculty Development Matters" (post) states that "as faculty improv[e] their teaching, students ... benefit ... learn more and their performance on course work improves."

  • "When faculty attend formal development opportunities, engage in self-directed improvement processes, or even undergo routine evaluations, faculty practices do change."
  • "As [more] members of faculty make common cause of improving teaching, the goals of that improvement tend to spread throughout the institution, and the likelihood of incorporating those goals as common values in routine administration processes increases."
  • "[F]aculty development adds value in measurable ways to the institution that invests in sound practices to help teachers address the challenges they face in their classrooms."

2. "[T]his research provides guidance in several ways":

a. "[I]dentif[y] ... the goals for changes in instruction and by imagining clearly the role of faculty development in the change process." 

  • "Think systematically about how each event ... contributes to others and to long-term goals."
  • "Think in terms of initiatives rather than single events."

b. "[I]dentify the goals for learning by focusing on higher-order competencies."

  • "Look at competencies such as writing, thinking, teamwork, information literacy, or self-efficacy – the kinds of outcomes that are in institutions’ formulations of outcomes for graduates."
  • "The more clearly an institution identifies these goals, and the more such goals are evident in every course of study, the more likely an initiative is to draw faculty commitment and to produce measurable change."

c. "Promote excellent teaching." 

  • "Foster a process of faculty learning that engages outside input, that supports reflective study of teaching practices, research into effects of changes in practice, and follow-up of further learning, change, and evaluation."

d. "Search for ways in which teaching and learning goals affect institutional practices that could count as routine faculty development."

  • "Identify practices that are barriers [to better teaching] and change them so that they encourage innovation in the classroom."
  • "Design systems so that they help overcome faculty members’ reluctance or fear of exposing the inside of the classroom for an examination of their teaching practices." 
  • "Performance reviews of all kinds must change from a punitive paradigm or a burdensome task to a set of practices that generate support for developing as a teacher."

e. "What educators want in students (higher learning) is what they want in faculty (learning about how to foster higher learning) and what they want in an institution (a context that supports higher learning for faculty and students)." 

  • "A systems approach reveals the connections and interrelations among widely diverging occasions for learning, from introductory course work to grant-sponsored research, and from assessments of incoming students to accreditation studies focused on student learning outcomes."
  • "In a systems approach, institutional culture promotes and rewards improvement."

f. "The pathways to building a productive culture of teaching and learning on campus differ from one school to the next." 

  • "[I]dentify existing and potential pathways. Exploit exiting pathways first, and design new pathways with research questions in mind."
  • "Collect data based on what current goals require, and do so with a sound research methodology."
  • "Plan an investigation that focuses on improving teaching, and allow the results to address institutional needs for accountability."
  • "Don’t let the accountability need dominate the more important need for continuous improvement of teaching and learning." 
  • "Focus on process rather than more limited products."

g. "Think globally, act locally, and then act globally." 

  • "Results from local efforts must reach to and beyond the scholarly commons."
  • "The most important audience for improving teaching and learning is within the enterprise of higher education, but the audiences outside still matter greatly.
  • "[A] systems approach to such explorations can reach beyond the boundaries of higher education to society at large."
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