Faculty Center for Teaching
Continuing Faculty Conversations about Clusters
DATE: Friday, November 20, 2015
TIME: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
PLACE: Life Sports Center 239
We invite all interested faculty and administrators to this session which will offer instructors of cluster courses the opportunity to reconnect and to discuss their progress with developing and implementing this new element of the general academic curriculum.
In particular, this session will offer participants the opportunity to discuss strategies to encourage integration in students’ work. How can we best provide students with opportunities to demonstrate deeper integrative thinking? What qualifies as evidence of integrative thinking? What grading processes are effective and transparent to the student? How do faculty teaching a cluster collectively develop strategies for meaningful integration?
Several faculty currently involved in teaching cluster courses will share their experiences with developing integrative course components and assignments.
Whether you have taught cluster courses over the last few semesters, are currently involved in your first cluster teaching experience, or have yet to teach a cluster but are just interested in the conversation, you are welcome to join in at this session.
Stuck in the Middle of the Academic Ladder? Challenges Facing Mid-Career Faculty
Date: Tuesday, November 17th
Time: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Place: Seegers 109 - 110
Whether a tenured Associate Professor, a recently-promoted Professor, a seasoned Lecturer or an experienced Adjunct, we consider "mid-career faculty" to be those who have moved past the entry/probationary level but are not nearing the end of their careers. Nationwide, many mid-career academic professionals report feeling "stuck" in career phases where they spend increasingly more time on leadership, mentoring, and administrative tasks, and ever diminishing time on advancing their own professional goals, both pedagogical and scholarly. Many, particularly those with family responsibilities, look for a life-work balance in the demanding setting of academic employment. While mid-career faculty often report becoming more passionate about their areas of academic interest, they also report being burned out by the nature of the overall workload.
Our conversation will focus on issues and strategies for this segment of the Muhlenberg population. What is the situation for mid-career faculty here at Muhlenberg? What challenges do they face and how might those challenges be addressed by the individual and the community? Most importantly, if you are faculty member who is stuck, how can you get un-stuck?
We offer a few short readings to provide some prompts and ideas for discussion. Session participants will have the opportunity to engage in small-group discussions on the aspects of this issue that are of greatest interest to them.
We look forward to a lively discussion and we hope to see you there!
Refreshments will be served.
Examining Trigger Warnings
facilitated by Jim Peck and Kate Richmond
DATE: Thursday, October 8th, 2015
TIME: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
PLACE: Seegers Union
Over the last several months, in both
scholarly and popular articles, significant attention has been devoted to the
issue of “trigger warnings” in higher education. For faculty who teach courses that include
disturbing, controversial or graphic content, “trigger warnings” (or disclosures
that upcoming course content may cause distress) spark debates about perceived
changes in the nature of teaching, of students, and of the professoriate.
We are including three short readings to inform our discussion.
Some questions we might consider include:
· On what grounds do these authors argue for or against the use of trigger warnings?
· What assumptions about the nature of teaching and learning inform their arguments?
· What do the authors believe to be at stake in the decision whether and how to use trigger warnings? What are their priorities?
· What assumptions about social power undergird their arguments, both explicitly and implicitly?
· How do they represent and consider the role of affect in the classroom?
· What important perspectives on the topic are not raised in the context of these three short readings?
· Does the inclusion of trigger warnings in syllabi or course curricula require a case-by-case analysis? If so, how would you make decisions about whether and how to include them?
We don’t intend to limit our conversation to these articles, but hope that starting with some shared readings will lead to a lively and productive discussion.
Refreshments will be served.
Open House + Wine + Cheese
DATE: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
TIME: 4:30 PM -6:00 PM
PLACE: Hoffman House
While we intend this wine & cheese event to be a casual get together for faculty, we will be asking for your suggestions regarding future directions and programming that FCT might pursue. There will be delineated stations for you to stop by as you mingle that provide opportunities for you to offer the FCT Board your thoughts, wish-lists, and recommendations regarding the future work of the FCT. We know this information will be invaluable as FCT works to meet a diverse range of needs of individual faculty members, groups of faculty members who work in collaboration, and the institution.
Shortly after the event, we will provide the faculty with a detailed summary report of the input received. We intend to offer as many opportunities for faculty conversation and development as is feasible based, in part, on the comments we receive.
Please feel free to come and go as your schedule permits.