Tomorrows Professor Listserver #2
Message #11 HELPING NEW FACULTY FIND THE TIME
Message #12 INCREASING USE OF TEACHING PORTFOLIOS?
Message #13 ITEMS FOR INCLUSION IN A TEACHING PORTFOLIO
Message #14 TEACHING AND LEARNING PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY STATEMEMENTS
Message #15 TEACHING GOALS AND STRATEGIES
Message #16 TELE-MENTORING CATCHING ON WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS - WHAT ABOUT FACULTY?
Message #17 IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING WHILE SAVING FACULTY TIME
Message # 18 A CONTRASTING VIEW OF PERSONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENTS
Message # 19 THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING
Message # 20 ETHICALLY PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIORS IN SCIENCE
Message #11 HELPING NEW FACULTY FIND THE TIME
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Talia Anagnos, chair of the Civil Engineering Department at San Jose State University has some advice for other department chairs on how to help new faculty find the time for long-term important activities. She writes:
"I really got dumped on as a new faculty member. I was given all the duties no one else wanted, such as faculty advising for the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, serving on an outreach committ ee visiting various high schools, and a myriad of other committee and administrative assignments. I'm not saying these things aren't valuable in some way, it's that as a young faculty member they were overwhelming at the time I was trying to get my feet on the ground professionally.
"Some chairs let their new professors flounder. I don't buy the argument that because we had to suffer, they should as well. We bring them on board, assume they can do it all, leave them on their own, and give them no direction. Unless they are lucky enough to have a mentor, they try to figure it out by themselves and, not surprisingly, the results are not as positive as they could be. This is especially true at a metropolitan institution like San Jose State with a large commuter student population, few master's students doing research, no Ph.D. students, and very few (if any) teaching assistants or graders.
"Our older colleagues need to understand that the goal posts have moved and the expectations for young faculty are different than they were twenty years ago. Senior professor need to help by picking up more of the administrative and service loads. We should be asking ourselves what we can do to help young faculty get their scholarship program going, not, 'How can I unload lots of busywork on them?' I am not saying young faculty should not get involved, they sh ould. But, not to the point where they are under a pile saying, 'help, I can't get out!'
I get calls from people who ask my newer faculty to help out with their committees. Instead, I usually recommends some mid-career people who have established scholarship and would probably be a lot better for the p articular committees. When I explain to them in a nice way why I am saying 'no' [to their request for the new faculty member], people usually understand. At times however, I will help young faculty by recommending that they serve on certain committees w here they can gain visibility, learn how the college functions, and make connections.
Chairs can help in other ways with respect to workload. Take, for example, teaching assignments. I am expected to have my faculty average 17 students per class, four classes per semester. However, if a professor t eaches three classes, two with 17 students, and the third with 35 students, the commitment can be considered equivalent to four classes of 17 students per class. Or, if the number of students taught by a faculty member in one semester is very high, as ch air I can give the faculty member released time the next semester. I use this system to give young faculty teaching assignments requiring fewer preparations, or to allow them to borrow ahead to get started on research. Young faculty everywhere need to un derstand that they do not have to take what they are given blindly, they can ask if there are alternatives. If they have a good reason, something can usually be worked out.
What approaches have other department chairs used to help beginning faculty? What are the barriers to providing such help? Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Message #12 INCREASING USE OF TEACHING PORTFOLIOS?
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Ive recently noticed an increased discussion of teaching portfolios in engineering at my university. I know they have been used for some time by graduate students in the humanities, but now Im hearing more discussion of them in engineering, and not just for graduate students. Have any of you had a similar experience?
Teaching portfolios are the pedagogical equivalent of the professional (or scholarly, research-oriented) curriculum vitae. In addition to being a potential asset to graduate students and posstdocs seeking academic position s, they can be useful as an on-going professional self-development tool, and as a one means of evaluating the scholarship of teaching. According to Edgerton, et al :
"When it comes to research, faculty take for granted that it is their responsibility to present evidence of accomplishment. In the case of teaching, however, evaluation often appears to be something that happens to< /U> faculty - be it through student course ratings or obligatory classroom visits by chairs or deans. Portfolios place the initiative for documenting and displaying teaching back in the hands of the person who is doing it; they put the teacher bac k in charge....selecting, assembling, and explaining portfolio entries that accurately represent actual performance."
A typical portfolio might include :
Work samples from current or recent teaching responsibilities such
course materials prepared for students such as exams,
handouts, and discussion questions,
essays, field or lab reports and other student works with TA
critiques and feedback,
an edited videotape or written case study of a classroom
teaching experience, and
a reflective memo on the course syllabus, if you developed
the syllabus yourself or collaborated with others in
Documents of one's professional development as a teacher such as:
records of changes resulting from self-evaluation, and
evidence of participation in workshops, seminars and
professional meetings intended to improve teaching.
Information from others such as:
statements from colleagues who observed your teaching, and
invitations to teach from outside agencies.
Tips for developing a teaching portfolio :
Start compiling samples for your portfolio as soon as possible.
Form the habit of filing away samples of work which
demonstrates your teaching.
Select those items which you deem to be the best examples of
your work demonstrating teaching quality.
The format of your teaching portfolio will vary, depending on
Be sure the format is well organized and presents your work
with care, neatness, and creativity.
After you secure a job, plan to continue to retain copies of
Here are some World Wide Web URLs that can help you learn more about the preparation and use of teaching portfolios:
Please send any additional references to me for posting. Also, any comments on the preparation and uses - or misuses - of teaching portfolios would be most welcome.
 R. Edgerton, P. Hutchings, and K. Quinlan, The Teaching Portfolio - Capturing the Scholarship of Teaching, Washington, DC: American Association of Higher Education, 1991, p. 5.
 Ibid. p. 9
 Teaching Portfolio Preparation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Career Planning and Placement Center, Oct. 1994, p.1.
Message # 13 ITEMS FOR INCLUSION IN A TEACHING PORTFOLIO
In response to Message # 12, some of you have written asking for more information about what items might go into a teaching portfolio. A few others have written asking more about how portfolios are used by professors (as opposed to graduate students) . It would be great if those of you with portfolio experiences could share samples of one or more aspects of your work or experiences with us.
In the meantime, here is a list (reprinted with permission from R. Edgerton, P. Hutchings, and K. Quinlan, "The Teaching Portfolio: Capturing the Scholarship of Teaching,") of possible items for inclusion in a teachi ng portfolio.
Looking forward to hearing from many of you.
Possible Items for Inclusion in a Teaching Portfolio*
Faculty members should recognize which of the items which might be included in a teaching dossier would most effectively give a favorable impression of teaching competence and which might better be used for self-evaluation and improvement. The dossier should be compiled to make the best possible case for teaching effectiveness.
The Products of Good Teaching
1. Students' scores on teacher-made or standardized tests, possibly before and after a course has been taken as evidence of learning.
2. Student laboratory workbooks and other kinds of workbooks or logs.
3. Student essays, creative work, and project or field-work reports.
4. Publications by students on course-related work.
5. A record of students who select and succeed in advanced courses of study in the field.
6. A record of students who elect another course with the same professor.
7. Evidence of effective supervision of Honors, Master's or Ph.D. theses.
8. Setting up or running a successful internship program.
9. Documentary evidence of the effect of courses on student career choice.
10. Documentary evidence of help given by the professor to students in
11. Evidence of help given to colleagues on teaching improvement.
Materials from Oneself
Descriptive material on current and recent teaching responsibilities and practices.
12. List of course titles and numbers, unit values or credits, enrollments with
13. List of course materials prepared for students.
14. Information on professor's availability to students.
15. Report on identification of student difficulties and encouragement of
student participation in courses or programs.
16. Description of how films, computers or other nonprint materials were used
17. Steps taken to emphasize the interrelatedness and relevance of different
kinds of learning.
Description of steps taken to evaluate and improve one's teaching.
18. Maintaining a record of the changes resulting from self-evaluation.
19. Reading journals on improving teaching and attempting to implement
20. Reviewing new teaching materials for possible application.
21. Exchanging course materials with a colleague from another institution.
22. Conducting research on one's own teaching or course.
23. Becoming involved in an association or society concerned with the
improvement of teaching and learning.
24. Attempting instructional innovations and evaluating their effectiveness.
25. Using general support services such as the Education Resource
Information Center (ERIC) in improving one's teaching.
26. Participating in seminars, workshops, and professional meetings intended
to improve teaching.
27. Participating in course or curriculum development.
28. Pursuing a line of research that contributes directly to teaching.
29. Preparing a textbook or other instructional materials.
30. Editing or contributing to a professional journal on teaching one's
Information From Others
31. Student course and teaching evaluation data which suggest improvements
or produce an overall rating of effectiveness or satisfaction.
32. Written comments from a student committee to evaluate courses and
33. Unstructured (and possibly solicited) written evaluations by students,
including written comments on exams and letters received after a course
has been completed.
34. Documented reports of satisfaction with out-of-class contacts.
35. Interview data collected from students after completion of a course.
36. Honors received from students, such as being elected "teacher of the year."
37. Statements from colleagues who have observed teaching either as members
of a teaching team or as independent observers of a particular course, or
who teach other sections of the same course.
38. Written comments from those who teach courses for which a particular
course is a prerequisite.
39. Evaluation of contributions to course development and improvement.
40. Statements from colleagues from other institutions on such matters as how
well students have been prepared for graduate studies.
41. Honors or recognition such as a distinguished teacher award or election to
a committee on teaching.
42. Requests for advice or acknowledgment of advice received by a committee
on teaching or similar body.
43. Statements about teaching achievements from administrators at one's own
institution or from other institutions.
44. Alumni ratings or other graduate feedback.
45. Comments from parents of students.
46. Reports from employers of students (e.g., in a work-study or "cooperative"
47. Invitations to teach for outside agencies.
48. Invitations to contribute to the teaching literature.
49. Other kinds of invitations based on one's reputation as a teacher (for
example, a media interview on a successful teaching innovation).
* From: R. Edgerton, P. Hutchings, and K. Quinlan, "The Teaching Portfolio: Capturing the Scholarship of Teaching," a publication of the AAHE Teaching Initiative, American Association of Higher Education, 1991. One D upont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036. p 8. Copyright © 1991 by the American Association for Higher Education. Reprinted with permission.
Message # 14 TEACHING AND LEARNING PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY STATEMENTS
One of the items found in most teaching portfolios is a teaching and learning personal philosophy statement. Developing such a statement, even while a graduate student or postdoc, can be quite helpful. You are likely to b e asked about such a philosophy when applying for academic positions and during your retention, tenure, and promotion periods.
Below is one example of such a statement from Mary Anne Carroll at the University of Michigan, a Research I university. It would be terrific if some of you who have developed such statements would share them with us so that we could see examples from different disciplines and academic institutions.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Richard Reis (email@example.com)
Statement of Personal Philosophy Regarding Teaching and Learning*
Mary Anne Carroll
Atmospheric, Ocean and Space Sciences Department
University of Michigan
My move from a research laboratory to an academic setting was motivated by a desire to teach. Therefore, being a member of a university where attention to teaching and learning has a high priority is import ant to me. My interest in teaching comes from my own positive experience as an undergraduate and from a love of learning. It also stems from a belief that environmental issues are intricately connected with technology and a sense of responsibility to ed ucate a citizenry that is "literate" in environment sciences.
In considering how one goes about sharing one's love of learning, it is important to consider that learning strategies differ widely and that teaching strategies are not always easily matched with students' needs. In addition, students bring widely varying knowledge bases to the table in each course, so each course is different according to the background and learning preferences of that particular class. A further complication is that students also bring different levels of maturity, interest and motivation. The challenge is to make course materials accessible to all students and to be responsive to individuals who are having difficulty integrating new material without boring others. Is this possible?!
I believe that learning can and should be fun and that students who are active participants learn much more than those whose participation is largely passive. Teaching and learning involves an inherent cont ract. Students must agree to take responsibility for their learning in order to engage, and teachers must be willing to be engaged, as well. When students are so engaged, their learning is not solely dependent upon the rate of the delivery of lectures, so a mix and match of pace and teaching strategies designed to meet the needs of a range of learning skills need not be debilitating to the progress of any students. I welcome a group of students who are actively involved, thinking and questioning the ma terial presented to them whether presented by me or by another student.
Part of the contract involves the completion of homework assignments so that classroom periods can be used for group work and other activities that involve students and encourage their learning from each ot her. Although I initially felt the need to lecture in detail on all topics covered, my perspective has changed as my level of familiarity with the course material has increased. I believe that a teacher is not a giver of knowledge but rather a facilitat or or a guide for the student. As a guide, it is my responsibility to find or create alternate presentations of the material that I feel help clarify key points and to design iclass contacts.
* Reprinted with permission of Mary Anne Carroll.
Message # 15 TEACHING GOALS AND STRATEGIES
In response to Message #14, here is a personal teaching and learning philosophy statement provided by Terrence G. Oas, associate professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Duke University.
Looking forward to receiving other such statements from science and engineering faculty.
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Teaching Goals and Strategies
Terrence G. Oas
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry
Box 3711, Rm. 436 Nanaline Duke
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 681-8862 (Fax)
Most of my teaching involves instructing graduate students in the
thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and spectroscopy of biological
systems. Given the varied backgrounds of our students, this can
sometimes be a challenging task. In our Physical Biochemistry course we have had students with no training in multivariate calculus or physical chemistry and others with undergraduate degrees in physics or mathematics. To each, I have tried to presen t the aspects of biochemistry missing in their undergraduate training. The goal of my lectures is generally to acquaint students with a physical description of biological systems using the quantitative language of mathematics. This approach is sometimes met with some resistance: often students pursuing degrees in biochemistry have chosen the field in part for its non-physical aspects. However, when I am most successful even these students come to appreciate the quantitative facets of problems they have studied in less mathematical ways in other classes. I try to convey the importance of a rigorous chemical view of the molecules in molecular biology, the avocation of almost all modern biochemists. The modern literature is rich in proposed biological m echanisms that demand the close scrutiny of thermodynamics; and some of them fail. I use some of these examples in my lectures to emphasize the relevance of thermodynamics to modern biology. Whenever possible, I try to present the intuitive non-mathemat ical description that accompanies the mathematical one. The goal is to reinforce this association so that it might be useful when the student re-encounters the problem later in his/her career.
It is my firm belief that physical concepts cannot be taught or learned merely through lectures and/or reading. These concepts demand the use of an entirely different part of the brain than language and therefore must be e xamined and practiced in non-verbal ways. For this reason, I use problem sets extensively in all of my teaching. Because I consider the problem-solving process so important, most of my grading is based on problem assignments. I find that by frequent as signment of problems I can assure that the students have thoroughly studied the concepts I've presented in my lectures. Often, I set up problem sets in my lectures and then, in the problem set, lead the student through a derivation or analysis in a step- by-step fashion. Many times the problem sets present new material that is never covered in class. This can often be a very time-consuming way for the students to learn, but I have been pleased to hear from many of them that they consider it time well sp ent. I also encourage the students to collaborate on the problems and often hold help sessions so that this process can occur with some guidance from either myself or a teaching assistant. This not only helps the students overcome some of the thorny con cepts but also provides useful feedback to me to improve my lecture presentations and problem writing.
As course director of physical biochemistry, I have continually varied its structure and composition in an attempt to find the most effective format. The constant feature of the course has been its focus on fundamental pri nciples in kinetics, statistical thermodynamics, spectroscopy (quantum mechanics) and diffraction theory. Many physical biochemistry courses around the country are taught as technique surveys. It has been the collective agreement of the primary instruct ors of our course that it is more important to expose our students to the underlying principles behind these techniques than it is to teach them the details of the techniques themselves, which are often rapidly changing and may be very different by the ti me the student encounters them in their work.
Typical of most medical school courses, our physical biochemistry course has traditionally been taught by several instructors. This has both benefits and liabilities. The broad range of instructors' expertise improves the veracity of the lectures. However, the lack of continuity from topic to topic reduces the chances that the students will see the interconnections between subjects. In some years, I have attended most of the lectures and have tried to point out the places in one lecturer's present ation that relate to others'. Most recently, I have decided to drastically reduce the number of lecturers from a maximum of eight to four. This required that I present more lectures, but I was concerned that the course had become too fragmented. I ha ve attempted to improve the communication between instructors so that we are all aware of the places in our lectures that interrelate. In the future, I plan to continue to keep the number of instructors small and work to further
improve the continuity of the course.
Under many circumstances, I have been fortunate to work with a group small enough to engage in discussion. I am sure I am not alone to say that this is my favorite form of teaching. I enjoy the Socratic method, particu larly when one or two students and I can work through a problem together. I also use this approach when training the undergraduate and graduate students in my laboratory. We spend a great deal of time at my white board discussing derivations, designi ng experiments, and analyzing data. In my opinion, this is the time when the most long-lasting learning takes place. When a student sees the way in which quantitative theory relates to his/her own work, the concepts become an integral part of how th ey perceive the world from that point forth. I consider this the most important contribution that I can make.
Message #16 TELE-MENTORING CATCHING ON WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS - WHAT ABOUT FACULTY?
E-mail tele-mentoring is catching on at many college campuses. The program described below matches women college students in science and engineering with mentor professionals in industry.
Does anybody know of other examples involving students either as mentees or as mentors? What about electronic mentoring between faculty, particularly faculty at different institutions? Does such an idea make sense? Does anyone know of any such ef forts?
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MentorNet Needs More Mentors
The Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network, WEPAN, has launched an initiative, called MentorNet that uses the Internet and electronic mail to connect college female engineering, science and math students acro ss the country with volunteer mentors employed in scientific and technical fields in private industry. The goal of MentorNet is to link 250 female students with female and male mentors in the first year and 5,000 by the fifth year. Fifteen universities have been invited to participate in the virtual network during 1998.
Industry professionals in science or engineering who would like to encourage more women to pursue their interests in scientific and technical study and careers, are invited to consider serving as an on-line mentor to an und ergraduate or graduate student through MentorNet. At the moment there is a strong need to match mentors with students studying chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, biological sciences, and biochemistry. Thus , WEPAN needs mentors in civil, mechanical, and chemical engineering fields, and in the biotechnical, semiconductor, and pharmaceutical industries.
Overall, women are increasing their presence in the U.S. workforce. They are, however, only 8.5% of the engineers, 30.6% of the mathematical and computer scientists and 29.3% of the natural scientists; and women with techn ical backgrounds are more likely to be employed in the public or nonprofit sectors than in industry.
Mentoring is a proven strategy in encouraging the retention of women in these fields where they are currently under-represented. E-mail allows mentoring relationships to occur where geography, time, or financial constraint s would make face-to-face mentoring difficult. Requirements include a commitment to mentor at least through the end of the academic year (~May 1998), and 2-4 e-mail exchanges per month with the student. Introductory and training information and on-going program communications are provided to assist mentors and students in creating an effective mentoring relationship.
MentorNet is a national program, based on a successful two-year pilot program started at Dartmouth College by Dr. Carol Muller, MentorNet executive director. In its first year, students from 15 different universities acros s the country are participating. This number will grow as the program develops.
For more information and on-line applications to apply to serve as a mentor, please contact:
Carol B. Muller, Ph.D.
Executive Director, MentorNet
c/o College of Engineering
One Washington Square
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0080
UP NEXT: Improving Student Learning While Saving Faculty Time
Message #17 IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING WHILE SAVING FACULTY TIME
Michael Fried, professor of mathematics at the University of California, Riverside uses e-mail technology to give students much more personal time with him, without increasing his burden immeasurably. In fact, accor ding to Fried:
"The tools developed save me time every day, OUTSIDE THE
CLASSROOM especially, for they give recoverable documentation of my activities almost effortlessly."
The program also allows for grading high level exams with 1/3rd the effort.
Fried's, Electronic Portfolios: Enhancing Interactions Between Students and Teachers project, was funded by the Sloan Foundation and you can find out more about it at:
http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/franklin/doc/mfried/portfol.html, or you can write to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a very brief summary of some of the material on the above Web sites:
* What the project did:
Minority students show less confidence in using the instructor as a resource. To bring equity to the achievement of all students, the project:
* Established quality student-instructor asynchronous e-mail
* Gathered information on each student through e-mail
* Developed a system of automated portfolio creation with shell
* Created a 3-stage process for developing individual and team
* Provided continual e-mail reinforcement to maintain student
initiative toward completion of the projects
* Instituted weekly comment files for continual course
responses to students and the assistant
According to Fried, "These daily interactions brought more contact with students in one course than I had in 20 years of teaching. ...These portfolios started the process of documenting the value added by the instructor and the value of retaining these students. Many of these are minority students who were borderline for dropping out. "
The key to not overwhelming the instructor in terms of time is something called "shell program technology," described more completely in the Web documents, and readily available to any university running UNIX in its e-mail accounts.
* Reasons for doing it:
Classroom time pressure cuts into the amount of feedback because (1) there is not enough time for more than a few students to interact, and (2) there's not enough time for students to think about what they want to say. In a practical way, classrooms a re synchronous channels. The Internet provides an asynchronous communication that uses individual freedom to replace time constraints.
* Key portfolio interaction ingredients are:
* The 3-stage project
* Project and class evaluation
* Electronic grading and evaluation tools
* Day to day portfolio creation
For more information, check out the Web sites listed above.
It would be great to hear from others on how they have improved learning while decreasing (or at least not increasing) faculty time.
UP NEXT: A Contrasting Veiw of Personal Teaching and Learning Philosophy Statements
Message # 18 A CONTRASTING VIEW OF PERSONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENTS
Here is an interesting comment on the value of personal teaching and learning philosophy statements from Lee Dorosz, chairman of the Biology Department at San Jose State University.
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Rick, for what it's worth: Having served on many RTP [Retention, Tenure, and Promotion] committees over the years both as member and department chair (8 yrs total), at both department and College level, and having provided occasional input to RTP at t he University level while an administrator for seven years, I must say that I'm not a fan of these generic statements. At least in the environment of the CSU [California State University system] , I've found them to be pretty much non-contributory to the debates and discussions of the various committees and evaluators. The only time they come into play (again, in my experience) has been when someone is in potential trouble, and needs to explain something awkward in the dossier - or when there's somethin g really out of the ordinary, but then that should be pointed out in other ways. People at the department level already know the person well enough that the statement tells them nothing; at the College level the department representative can clarify any questions, and at the university level where they have to read so many so fast (10 to 15 a week during the spring madness) members just don't have time to digest this stuff, any more than they read course outlines, or exams, or other such materials - unle ss they are extraordinary in some fashion, and that's pretty rare. (Our department members who have served on these university committees have routinely reported back guidelines having to do with absolute clarity, clear outlines, punch, punch, punch, wit h minimum emphasis on grand elaborations of any kind).
Such philosophy statements also come with applications for tenured positions during recruitment, where pretty much the only purpose they serve is to help the committee weed out someone who talks about nothing but research ( the CSU is, of course, a "teaching university".) Thus the statements are used only in the negative, i.e., to eliminate someone who says the wrong thing in the sense that they are not speaking to the position for which they are applying.
If there is something truly unusual, sure, a statement describing some exotic teaching program, or massive coordination responsibility, or .... then get it in. But here certainly the referees will also speak to this unusu al talent or experience, so the candidate needn't address it in depth. The generic "here's how I do it" statement doesn't help in any positive sense.
Please, this is one person's perspective from one style of university, and others may have had much different experiences.
If such statements are of limited value in RTP, might they still be of value to the professors and graduate students who write them; for example as a guide to their decisions and behavior? As always your comments are most welcome.
Up Next: THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING
Message # 19 THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING
Last week I participated in the, Shaping the Future: New Expectations for Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology workshop at San Jose State University. Here are the highlights of the focus group discussion I chaire d on, The Scholarship of Teaching: What Is It and How Can It Be Measured, Promoted, and Reward?: Comments in parenthesis were added later by my colleague, Professor Larry Leifer, director of the Stanford Learning Laboratory.
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.
The Scholarship of Teaching
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* Review of Ernest Boyer's concept of the scholarships of discovery, integration, application, and teaching. All forms are important, but more recognition of the importance of the scholarship of teaching is needed.
* Discussion of the meaning of the term "scholarship of teaching," and how it differs from "normal" teaching. To be scholarship, such teaching must be:
* Innovative in terms of curriculum development, instruction,
and/or student learning
* Disseminated, through publications, presentations, Internet,
to educators not directly involved in the innovation. (I tend
to add that the root of scholarship is the citation of the work
of others, the act of building on each others shoulders, rather
than on each others toes. So, publication, citation and peer-
review are the cornerstones - LL)
* Examination of various ways to capture and document the scholarship of teaching through:
* Teaching Portfolios (an exciting new trend - LL)
* Publications (The coin of the profession, a top priority - LL)
* Presentations at conferences (One peer reviewed journal
paper is worth about 15 conference presentations,
proceeding-papers - A painful reality at tenure time - LL)
* Postings on the WWW (not yet real at tenure time - LL)
(* Video documentation of teaching/learning activity. While
video has been around for 40 years it is still undervalued as
a publication. There is some evidence that well done, peer
reviewable video production (be it analog or video) is gaining
ground as a publication medium for teaching/learning
scholarship - LL)
* Agreement that one measure of the success of such scholarship would be the degree to which the outcomes are adopted at some level by other faculty. In some ways such adoption might be equivalent to citations in research publications. (Yes, we must nurture the culture of citation - LL)
* Support for introducing the scholarship of teaching into the experiences of Ph.D. and even undergraduate students. Is there a way to make such experiences an explicit part of doctorate dissertations, particularly for tho se Ph.D. students who want to become professors? Behind this suggestion is the recognition that students (and teachers) can learn a great deal from each other.
* Support for mechanisms by which faculty can be encouraged to share their "intellectual capital" in ways that bring new ideas to others, provide appropriate recognition for the originator, and reduce the total time commitm ent required of each "sharing participant."
* Request for further explorations on how to find connections among two or more forms of scholarship so that faculty may leverage their scholarship investments for net gain.
* Recognition that much still needs to be done to create appropriate recognition and rewards for forms of scholarship beyond that of discovering new knowledge.
Up Next:: ETHICALLY PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIORS IN SCIENCE
Message #20 Ethically Problematic Behaviors in Science
All of us want to follow the highest ethical standards in our our roles as professors, and in most instances doing so is not be a problem. Yet, there are times, particularly in our teaching and research, when knowing and d oing the "right things" are not as simple as they sound. In such situations, it is helpful if we can share out experiences in making the "right calls" when confronted with ethically problematic situations.
Robert E. McGinn has taught a number of courses on technology and society and on ethical issues in science and engineering at Stanford University. He has generated a list (see below) of fifteen "ethically problematic behav iors in science," The list focuses on research related conduct and as you can see, with the exception of a few items (#1, #2, #5 and #8 for example), these situations are not simple black and white matters with easily prescribed courses of action. Here is the list:
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Ethically Problematic Behaviors in Science,"
1. falsifying (e.g., "cooking" or "trimming") data obtained from a
2. fabricating experiments to "obtain" or "generate" data;
3. misrepresentation in funding requests (e.g., hyperbole regarding previous accomplishments or future value of research);
4. giving undue credit or failing to give due credit to someone regarding authorship of research work;
5. deliberately misleading research competitors to "throw them off the trail" in order to improve one's chances of "getting there first";
6. failure to secure bona fide "informed consent" from experimental subjects (for example the Tuskeegee experiment involving subjects with syphilis, or recent Department of Energy revelations regarding testin g of civilians with radioactive substances);
7. failure to take steps to insure "fair play" in one's laboratory (e.g., discrimination against or sabotage of the work by one or another party or group);
9. demeaning a competitor's work to boost one's own;
10. allowing one's research findings to be used in a misleading or potentially harmful way for personal or group political or economic gain;
11. publishing one's work in LPUs (Least Publishable Units) to increase the number of one's publications;
12. failure to "blow the whistle" on someone whose work is known to be defective where failure to do so may endanger the public interest or put a private party at risk of incurring unjustifiable harm;
13. failure to conduct a fair-minded and scrupulous review of a scientific paper for which one is a referee;
14. providing a biased or facile evaluation of a proposal for research funding for which one is a reviewer, and
15. influencing scientific research projects of one's subordinates (e.g., graduate students) in order to advance research in which one has a vested economic interest (e.g., because of owning stock in a compan y which stands to benefit from the skewed research).
The first step in avoiding many of these behaviors is to acknowledge there existence and by so doing bring them out into the open for discussion. In discussing these matters it helps to be aware of the pressures leading so me faculty, in spite of their best intentions to the contrary, to engage in such conduct. McGinn has looked at this issue in some detail and has postulated a dozen "factors conducive to misconduct in contemporary science." They are:
1. the institutionalization of contemporary science (with all that this implies regarding the indispensability of obtaining substantial, ongoing funding);
2. the concept of an obsession with "success" in U.S. society, something which translates into great value being placed on obtaining desired results and which tends to devalue the importance and integrity of the process by which the results are obtained;
3. the difficulties that stand in the way of replicating previous experiments (e.g.,difficulty of obtaining funding to replicate someone else's experiment);
4. the time that must be spent writing and marketing proposals to obtain funding for one's laboratory or institution, resulting in less time being available for transmitting "integrity values" to one's studen ts "at the bench";
5. fear of being hit with a lawsuit if one blows the whistle on a colleague or superior;
6. fear of ostracism by colleagues if one blows the whistle;
7. the highly competitive nature of contemporary science regarding obtaining funding, being first in print, and obtaining one's own laboratory or a coveted endowed chair;
8. the high prestige attached by institutions and departments to having colleagues who publish prolifically and the related reward system;
9. the unprecedented degree of specialization in contemporary science (resulting in the prevalence of "a vulgar quantitative mentality" regarding publications);
10. the huge (about 40,000) number of scientific journals extant (resulting in the publication of much work of dubious scientific value and the difficulty of detecting fraud);
11. the lack of will and absence of an effective mechanism in science to root out fraud; and
12. the pressure on young scientists to obtain significant funding and publish a lot to get tenure.
Professor McGinn can be reached at: (email@example.com)
It would be great to hear from individuals who have confronted one or more of the situations described above?
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