WHAT!??! IMAGE CREDIT: Amazing Creatures Blog/SenorGIF

As part of my continued education, I started a University Teaching 101 course via Johns Hopkins and Coursera a few weeks ago. It’s an intimidating class, but I’ve really enjoyed the content thus far, and look forward to the topics we’ll explore in the weeks ahead.

I took this class with the hopes of preparing myself for its applicability in a few years. But the more I read and hear from our articles and lectures, the more I realize its applicability now.

Consider this: among the barriers to innovation cited for faculty listed were

  • Educator preparation
  • Support for faculty from higher administrators
  • “Sacred cows”
  • Resources- namely temporal and financial
  • Integrating unique knowledge to make existing practices more effective
  • Obtaining support for professional development
  • Finding internal champions for good work
  • Workload release time (not unlike the sentiment shared in John Maeda’s recent LinkedIn piece)
  • Overcoming the lack of value seen in the “new”

Alternatively, consider that many university educators are governed by their seven principles developed by none other than Arthur Chickering: the seven principles of best practices in education.

Any of this look or sound familiar?

Guys, we’re the same. We may come from seemingly adversarial mindsets, and might be viewed differently by our own institutions and absolutely by one another. But…we’re the same, as alike as the two sides of a mirror. We’re challenged by the same things, we want the same things from our students. We just differ in the language we use to describe our opportunities and challenges.

So speaking of challenges…challenge those assumptions. Challenge the assumption that faculty don’t get you. Challenge the default instinct to feel slighted. Strive to collaborate with our educator counterparts toward the common goal that we articulate differently, but want equally. And ask them about Chickering 🙂 Man, that guy must love the number seven!

Two Sides of the Mirror

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