Friday @ the Center
November 5, 2010
Writing Faith Statements
Need guidance writing a faith statement, faith journey, and vocational statements for your professional files? Rick Steele's workshop on writing faith statements for tenure, promotion, and third-year review is now on SPU iTunesU.
Carnegie Endowment Junior Fellows Program
The Carnegie Endowment Junior Fellows Program provides an opportunity for 8-10 students who desire careers in international affairs to have a substantive one-year working experience in Washington, D.C. Junior Fellows provide research assistance to Associates working on Carnegie Endowment programs. Eligible applicants must either be graduating seniors or students who have completed their bachelor's degree within the past academic year and have not started graduate studies. Applicants must be nominated through the Center, so if you have any eligible students, point them to the CSFD website for more information and have them contact me.
Quick Resource for Teaching Professors
Consider adding "The Teaching Professor" to your browser favorites list or RSS feed. Colleagues post thoughts, research, and best practices around topics of interest such as teaching, learning, professional development, tenure, etc. This is a nice resource that takes little time to get to the heart of what you are looking for.
As you think about mid-course adjustments, next quarter's classes, or courses you would like to teach in the future, consider adding active learning components to your class sessions. Active learning moves the course away from merely transmitting information and focuses on developing student's critical thinking, working in groups, and other skills that engage students in an examination of their own attitudes and values. Active learning can be as micro as “think, pair share” exercises, where students break into small groups to discuss or solve issues raised by the professor and then come back together to share their solutions. In a more macro-level example, students in our chemisty and bio-chemisty courses work to solve issues associated with genome sequencing, and create proteins that can be used in other research projects that show how those proteins bind with each other at different temperatures. Ben McFarland currently has a paper under review based on research that was done across courses.
Other active learning examples include mentoring teams of student-driven projects across courses with multiple professors invested in student learning over several quarters. SBE and SPFC both have these types of active learning courses. In SBE’s social venture planing, students participate in a two-course sequence where they not only learn about social venture plans but are mentored through developing their own projects; engaging in market research, developing an operation strategy and creating project financials. In SPFC, doctoral students in Clinical and Industrial/Organizational Psychology combine their statistics and research methodology coursework across 4 quarters taught by several professors. As part of their coursework, they complete their own research projects which utilize faculty outside the classes as subject matter mentors. In the spring, the SBE students pitch their projects to potential donors and investors at the SBE Social Venture Competition while SPFC students present their results at the SPFC Research Conference. Both groups may go on to present their projects at other national conferences. The down side of active learning can include losing some control in the classroom and learning to expect the unexpected, but student ownership of learning is enhanced and it is a blast to hear students explain their projects and describe what they learned.
To find out more about active learning check out Promoting Active Learning: Strategies for the College Classroom or the Illinois State University CTLT website.
Thanks to Ben McFarland, Jay Skidmore and Don Summers for their examples.