In our work with Faculty2Faculty, we strive to uphold several core values.
Pursuit of Excellence
The pursuit of academic excellence is an important goal for education, and we believe it is also a critical component of professional development. Thus, we strive to create the best possible learning experiences for our participants. This requires careful planning and extensive preparation to ensure high-quality materials, relevant and timely information, deep learning activities, and continuous improvement.
We believe that every educational experience – including professional development – should begin with clear learning goals. The experience should result in what our colleague Dee Fink has deemed “significant learning.” Thus we strive to create professional development sessions that enhance teacher knowledge in ways that extend beyond our sessions into our participants’ lived experiences as teachers. We want teachers to use this knowledge to improve students learning, since we believe that changing teaching methods without improving student learning is a waste of time.
Respect for Teachers
We recognize that all participants in our sessions have knowledge of college and university level teaching that they can bring to the conversation. Even those new to teaching in higher education have witnessed college teaching as students; that is, they have seen college teaching modeled and thus know what teachers and teaching methods have best enabled their own learning. Some participants have decades of experiences in the teaching trenches of colleges and universities that they can share with others. We respect these insights and experiences and provide opportunities for individuals to share them so that they may contribute to the learning of others.
Research on college level teaching abounds, and while it takes place across many disciplines and fields and also focuses on numerous types of instructional approaches, the take-away message is clear: students must be active, engaged participants in meaningful learning activities in order for significant learning to occur. Thus in our professional development sessions, we strive to use a range of research-based educational activities to engage and motivate participants.
These are the core values that we uphold in our professional development offerings. They are also the ones that we wish to communicate to participants in our sessions as values they can adopt in their own courses.