Spring Faculty Forum Series (2014):
Topic: Liberal Arts, Teaching and Learning at WPC – HOW?
When: March 20
Key topics discussed were the “How?” in the connection between the Liberal Arts and our scholarship of teaching.
In this third session of our Spring Series we shared how to creatively and effectively use liberal arts components to enhance and strengthen the accomplishment of specific learning outcomes. We discussed and offered examples regarding how the Liberal Arts informs and illumines a deeper understanding of specific disciplinary concepts, theories, and applications.
Topic: Liberal Arts, Teaching and Learning at WPC – WHAT?
When: February 26
Key topics discussed were the “What?” in the connection between the Liberal Arts and our scholarship of teaching.
Dr. Lou Foltz facilitated the discussion through the role of curiosity in and through the lens of the liberal arts to stimulate and sustain our teaching and student learning.
Fall Faculty Forum Series (2013)
Topic: Three-fold Value of Christ-centeredness and the Scholarship of Teaching at WPC
When: December 11
Teaching within the context of WPC provides an opportunity to intentionally weave together a Christian world-view perspective with our chosen disciplinary field of academic scholarship. A “Christ-centered” orientation can be viewed as a commitment to being mindfully attentive to and aware of God’s Presence in others, the world, and myself. The scholarship of teaching is comprised of an integrated, four-fold approach involving research (discovery), synthesis (integration), application (engagement), and dissemination (professing).
WPC’s mission to prepare students for active engagement “in a constantly changing world” assumes a goal of having each learner’s educational experience be of such quality and relevance that every graduate can construct and lead a satisfying life (e.g. to have competencies that enable her/him to earn a livable wage and to develop life-affirming meaning and purpose) within the context of Christian faith.
Key Question: In light of institutional and educational commitments to Christ-mindfulness, academic scholarship, and “preparedness” – What is the value of a WPC degree?
Educational value can be examined from three inter-related perspectives: intrinsic, instrumental, and aesthetic.
Intrinsic Value suggests an inherent worth in “learning for the sake of learning” that recalls how at a very young age each person is self-motivated to discover, draw together, engage, and articulate their understanding of the world in which they have been born and of their place in it. An initial question we all asked (without motivating circumstances of prescribed content, assignments, tests, or grades) was “Why?”.
Instrumental Value has to do with developing competencies (e.g. knowledge, skills, character, attitudes, behaviors, and convictions) that empower learners to construct and lead productive, enjoyable lives.
Aesthetic Value considers how an educational experience can lead to a deepened appreciation of and can contribute to the inherent design, beauty, wonderment of being in and a part of this universe and in relation to our Creator/Sustainer/Beloved.
Intrinsic Value of a WPC Degree – nurturing among students a self-motivated desire to gain disciplinary understanding about the world and their lived experience. What is a component of my discipline that would motivate a student to want to examine, engage, and master this field of study?
Instrumental Value of a WPC Degree – students mastering disciplinary competencies that enable them to uniquely and creatively articulate God’s Image and Presence in their lives and work. What two-three relevant competencies are offered through the study of my discipline and key field areas?
Aesthetic Value of a WPC Degree – recognizing artistic design, beauty, and wonderment that this discipline brings to life, even in the seemingly most complex, confusing, chaotic settings and topics (which are often found within urban landscapes). What is a unique contribution that my discipline provides in identifying and celebrating the integral design, beauty, and wonder of this world and our place in it?
Topic: Engaging our scholarship of teaching through Christ-centeredness – How?
Speakers: Dr. Lori Jass (Associate V.P. for ADP) and Dr. Luke Goble (History)
When: November 13
This third session in our series looked at the “how” of Christ-centeredness and our scholarship of teaching. Discussion included:
How do we fully engage the scholarship of teaching while being mindful of our Christ-centeredness?
How does our Christ-centeredness inform, guide, enliven our scholarly work?
Topic: What? Engaging our academic disciplines in terms of Christ-centered teaching
Speakers: Dr. Cole Dawson (History) and Dr. Roger Martin (Business)
When: October 23
This second session in our series looked at what it means for us to engage in a Christ-centered approach to the scholarship of teaching within and through our academic disciplines. Discussion included:
What in your disciplinary field connects, informs, enlivens your scholarship of teaching from a Christ-centered perspective?
What in terms of your approach to a Christ-centered scholarship of teaching engages, illumines, transforms your discipline and field of study?
Spring Faculty Forum Series (2013)
Topic: Preparedness: students making an academically successful transition into college and persisting through to graduation
Speaker: Beth DuPriest and Others
When: May 1
What competencies (e.g. knowledge, skills, convictions, character, and attitudes) and environments do students need have in order to succeed in college-level courses? How can our Orientation sessions assess and foster learning those competencies and nurturing those environments?
How does this initial “base-line” measure of competencies that we believe is necessary for academic success fit with and support attaining core and disciplinary outcomes represented by achieving a WPC diploma?
In other words, how does a student’s entry “preparedness” in 100-level courses serve as the basis for and lead to a student’s graduation “preparedness” to “engage actively in a constantly changing world”?
How can faculty deliberately build on those competencies and construct supportive learning environments (especially in the first week or two of class) at various stages in our academic programs?