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Talking Teaching with Colleagues Who Don’t Know Your Content

Reflections on Teaching

Talking Teaching with Colleagues Who Don’t Know Your Content

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Pete Burkholder, a history professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is writing a series of columns for a website on teaching US history. He doesn't teach US history, having only taken a course on it in high school. So it's not surprising that his first column addresses this apparent lack of qualifications. He's not qualified if this assumption holds: teaching and learning issues are specific, in this case, to the subfields of history. In other words, only those who teach US history can talk meaningfully about teaching US history with each other. Burkholder doesn't accept that assumption, in part, because he's responsible for the University's Teaching Development Program, which puts him in contact with faculty across a range of disciplines. He writes, “This experience has heavily emphasized to me how much we have in common in the realm of education, and how the walls separating our teaching fields are more self-imposed than real.”

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