IMPACT Live!

Expand all | Collapse all

IMPACT in Action - Taking Collective Ownership over Improving Student Learning using Lesson Study

  • 1.  IMPACT in Action - Taking Collective Ownership over Improving Student Learning using Lesson Study

    Posted 05-17-2021 01:10:00

    What in higher education makes it difficult to work collaboratively on improving student learning? 

    What structures or resources have helped facilitate productive conversations about teaching and learning in your department? 



    ------------------------------
    Susan Bickerstaff
    Community College Research Center
    New York NY
    (212) 678-3916
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Taking Collective Ownership over Improving Student Learning using Lesson Study

    Posted 05-21-2021 16:35:00
    I am going to talk about a structure that can be a barrier to productive conversations about teaching and learning -- but this is a structure we can change. This structure are the contracts that result from collective bargaining. At the community college where I spent most of my career, this contract defined my role and set out how many hours per week were spent on particular tasks. The contract did not set aside time for instructors to learn with each other to improve student learning.

    This is not to say that I did not have very productive conversations with colleagues about teaching and learning. Some of the most productive conversations were around co-planning with colleagues teaching the same course. We would talk about the important concepts in the course, and designed, adapted or revised activities to help students make sense of these concepts. We also took time to reflect on the activities we co-designed, both refining the activity for another term and discussing the best way to follow-up on the activity for the next class meeting. This was part of my professional obligation to prepare for class as outlined in the contract, but it was far more time intensive than what was laid out in the contract.

    Those of us who are members of collective bargaining units could pose questions to our colleagues about what is meant by preparing to teach and ask about where is the time to work on the continuous improvement of our teaching. We have the power to propose changes to the descriptions of instruction that rarely change. Getting a new contract does not need to focus solely on salaries.

    The contract at the college where I worked protected the 35-hour work week. I'd rather have a 40-hour work week and compensated time to engage in those productive conversations about teaching and learning that feed my soul.

    ------------------------------
    Ann Sitomer
    Senior Researcher
    STEM Research Center
    Oregon State University
    Corvallis OR
    ------------------------------