Is it possible to raise the teaching competence of an entire faculty quickly and cost effectively?
Now, the answer is YES!
The graduate training most faculty receive focuses on conveying the content of their discipline-with an eye to teaching them how to produce research. If an individual receives any training in how to teach, it is usually as a teaching assistant-and often less than holistically. Most newly minted instructors arrive on campus and are observed by someone who is senior to them-but who has received exactly the same preparation.
To improve faculty observation outcomes for the institution, it is time to consider a new paradigm. Our approach is based on a norming process that identifies areas of strength and areas of training opportunity within a sampled population of teaching faculty. The norming process has two particularly useful features:
1. Because faculty selected represent a cross-college or cross-department sample, it becomes quickly obvious where critical deficiencies may exist across the institution. Since we work at a basic level of pedagogy, opportunities for a large number of faculty to improve become almost immediately obvious-and the data are not tied to discipline, type of faculty member, or type of class taught.
2. When teaching "stars" are identified, we know exactly why they are exceptional at what they do-so their expertise is transportable across college and discipline borders. This information can be particularly helpful for new fulltime or adjunct teaching faculty and can serve as an excellent guide for mentoring.
This exciting new tool-the Teaching Observation Worksheet-is is available for sale online at www.amazon.com and other channels.
About the Author:
With a doctorate in adult and continuing education from Columbia University's Teachers College, Dr. Eric F. Grosse Jr. has worked in higher education for nearly 30 years. He has served as an adjunct and full-time faculty member, a department chair, a division chair, an academic dean and dean of academic development and training. Grosse has worked in a variety of educational environments, from a community college to a private Catholic liberal arts college to a high-ranking research university. During his decades of professional experience, he has observed or counseled nearly 700 faculty members.
Dr. Eric F. Grosse, Jr.
Phone: (301) 377-2674