Advancing a Culture of Inclusive Teaching Excellence on Campus
With growing pressures for accountability, reduced funding, competition from alternative providers, and serious questions about how to meet the challenges of a changing workforce, these are difficult times for higher education. But there is good news as well, as the focus on teaching and learning assumes a much more prominent place on the academic landscape.
Many colleges and universities today have established centers for teaching excellence that support the work of faculty looking to improve their students’ learning. A growing number of campuses are actively gathering evidence of student learning to guide innovation and improvement. Many campuses have also worked to reshape rewards and incentives in ways that encourage faculty to spend time and intellectual effort improving the learning experience of their increasingly diverse students. And all of this work has taken on greater urgency as higher education confronts the social imperative to support the success of all students—especially those that have not traditionally been well served by colleges and universities.
New classroom practices, though critical, are not enough to meet the challenges facing higher education. This keynote highlights the importance of a larger context—a campus culture—in which teaching and learning are a focus of sustained attention, inquiry, and improvement by all members of the campus community. But what are the distinguishing features of such a culture and how are such cultures built, nurtured, and sustained? In this session, we will 1) identify the critical, defining indicators of a culture of teaching and learning; 2) explore levers for cultivating such a culture in ways that respect disciplinary differences; and 3) strategize about opportunities for strengthening a culture that supports powerful and equitable learning for all members of the campus community: students, faculty, and staff.