Our Philosophy of Workshops, Consultations, and Other Gatherings
I. Teaching is a Vocation
- Discerning the telos or goal of one’s teaching vocation is crucial to the teaching and learning task.
- Good teaching is grounded in sound scholarship and nurtures an ongoing discussion about one’s subject area.
- Clarifying one’s teaching philosophy and learning goals facilitates classroom decisions such as course design, assignments, and assessment.
- Faculty members gain vocational colleagues and companions when they think collaboratively about teaching and learning.
- Thinking holistically about the work of teaching and scholarship develops a sense of one’s career trajectory and stages.
- When faculty members talk together about their craft, they discover a richness of teaching knowledge and experience among them.
II. Teaching is a Craft
- Teaching is a craft developed over a lifetime of critically reflective practice.
- Critical reflective practice is enhanced by engagement with pedagogical research and participation in the scholarly discourses on teaching and learning.
- Improving one’s skill as a teacher enhances the quality and satisfaction of one’s vocational choice.
- Teaching involves understanding the power of one’s persona and embodied presence in the classroom.
- Teaching benefits from increased awareness, intentionality, and commitment to student learning.
- The digital environment has significant influence on teaching and needs to be reflectively engaged in classroom practice.
- There are many perspectives about teaching and learning, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Understanding this variety expands the range of one’s teaching capacity and ability to engage a diversity of students and learning environments.
III. Institutional Setting Matters
- Appreciating the fundamental values of the institution is key to understanding the dynamics of teaching and learning in a particular place.
- The larger teaching culture of an institution deeply influences the work in each particular classroom.
- Sustained conversation about teaching and learning can transform the culture of teaching in a school or department.
- Focusing on the daily work of teaching and learning transcends boundaries between different disciplines, ranks, and other academic divisions to create a space for collaborative and fruitful discussion.
- Good teaching enhances the institutional culture and is an act of institutional citizenship.
- Teaching is integrally connected to the public interpretive role of the department, seminary, or theological school.