Professional Growth

A Powerful Question Set

Nothing works quite as well as a good question when it comes to getting the intellectual muscles moving. Given the daily demands of most academic positions, there’s not much time that can be devoted to reflection about teaching. But good questions are useful because they

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Skillful Teaching: Core Assumptions

Stephen Brookfield is out with a third edition of The Skillful Teacher. Only a handful of books on teaching make it past the first edition so to be out with a third says something about the caliber of this publication. He notes in

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Reaching Students

Occasionally I read old issues of the newsletter, usually looking for something I vaguely remember. Sometimes I find it and other times I don’t, but pretty much always I stumble across something that I’ve completely forgotten that I wish I’d remembered. Case in point…

Read More » Comments: An Analysis

Whatever philosophical and empirical issues college teachers may have with the Rate My Professor (RMP) website, there is no denying that the site in now a huge repository of information on college teachers. The website reports that it contains 15 million ratings for 1.4 million

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Teaching Squares: A Teaching Development Tool

If you’re looking for a way to improve your teaching, consider teaching squares. A teaching square consists of four faculty from different disciplines who visit each other’s classes within a two-to-three-week period. After the classroom visits, the four gather around coffee or a meal to

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Random Memorandums

10/23/2019—This article now includes an update from the author.

There is nothing quite like a Friday afternoon. The hurry-up pressures of the week come to a halt, and I can catch my breath against the wide open space of a weekend. But Fridays are special for

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Using Journaling to Inspire Group Reflection on Teaching

Faculty can learn so much about teaching from each other. The challenge is finding ways to start and sustain conversations between faculty about teaching. This is the story of how journaling became the centerpiece of an unlikely but highly impactful teaching support group involving a

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mid career issues

An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks

In the fall of 2013, at the age of 56 I successfully defended my dissertation and shortly thereafter accepted a job at a regional public university where I taught three new classes. My experiences teaching confirm that even at my age, change and movement to

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mid-career issues

Stop Drowning in Email

Online instructors frequently cite email as the biggest distraction in managing their online course workload. Those obnoxious pop-ups or auditory dings announcing new email might as well be a siren call, pulling online instructors away from the work at hand and into a stormy sea

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