In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Faculty Development in English StudiesAn Overview of Resources and a Suggested Sequence
  • Glenn Blalock (bio)

Readers of this special issue of Pedagogy who are motivated to design, organize, and facilitate faculty development initiatives will soon discover a wealth of resources and the unfortunate absence of a comprehensive clearinghouse for those resources. They face a daunting and time-consuming task, sorting through the abundance of resources, especially those that are not discipline-specific, and identifying those they would use to design generative and effective experiences for their colleagues.

With this essay, I begin an overview of resources for faculty development initiatives in English departments, proposing a specific framework and sequence for faculty development work and identifying and annotating key resources for use in the sequence. I also intend it to serve as the initiation of an interactive Web-based clearinghouse devoted to the ongoing gathering and sharing of faculty development resources.

At least since the beginning of this decade, educators, policy makers, and business leaders have been identifying the kinds of learning outcomes that will prepare students for productive lives as community members, citizens, and employees (see the Association of American Colleges and Universities reports Greater Expectations [2002] and College Learning for the New Global Century [2007] and the 2007 edition of the Horizon Report). The challenge for educators is clear: focusing only on teaching will not accomplish the goals and objectives that our institutions promise and that our constituents expect. Instead, we must shift our focus to learning and how we [End Page 555] can more intentionally and effectively teach for learning. With this shift, we will discover that Bloom's taxonomy alone is no longer an adequate guide for the learning we need to enable. Teaching tips alone are no longer effective topics for faculty development seminars. We have much we need to learn about learning and about teaching for learning. Fortunately, we have access to resources that will help us meet this challenge.

Identifying and organizing these resources are not neutral activities. My choices are informed by a particular set of beliefs, represented by the categories I have created and by the sequencing of the categories and the resources within each one. Although each section below begins with an explanation of that category and how it fits in the larger sequence I am proposing, I offer a brief overview of my larger argument here.

Faculty development should occur within the context of a "learning paradigm" instead of the dominant, current-traditional "instruction paradigm" (Barr and Tagg 1995; Tagg 2003 [reviewed below]). More specifically, faculty development activities should focus on how we can more effectively and intentionally teach for significant learning (Fink 2003 [reviewed below]). This focus will require that we learn about learning. This, in turn, will lead us to engage the scholarship of teaching and learning, not only to learn about it and from it, but to value it, and ideally to produce it, as a way to make our learning and teaching visible. Finally, in light of Thomas Kuhn's work (1962), calls for "paradigm shifts" invoke a sense of dramatic change, and that kind of change affects not only individuals but also the communities of knowledge and of practice in which we work. Ideally, in addition to engaging us individually, our professional development work will focus on how we can nurture and support these communities in our departments.

The annotated lists of print and digital resources that follow are sorted into three categories:

  1. 1. Learning about Learning and about Teaching for Significant Learning

  2. 2. Using, Valuing, and Producing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  3. 3. Creating and Maintaining Departmental Communities of Knowledge and Practice

I defined and ordered these categories intentionally, to propose a specific sequence of focuses for a sustained faculty development initiative. The resources that I list within each category are similarly sequenced to suggest that certain topics need to be in play before (and while) others are engaged. I offer extended annotations only on key works in each category, as a way to [End Page 556] make more visible the ways these resources could contribute to a particular faculty development event or sequence of events (workshop, seminar, teaching circle, conference, etc...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6255
Print ISSN
1531-4200
Pages
pp. 555-586
Launched on MUSE
2008-09-18
Open Access
No
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