balancing teaching and scholarship

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Dr. Joseph Tucker-Edmonds, IUPUI, pulls on the rhetorical practices of the Black Afro-Christian Religious tradition to enliven the classroom experience. He teaches courses on Religion and the Politics of Dissent in the African American Experience, Comparative Liberation Theologies, and Comparative Religions.
 
The “I” That Teaches - A new video project that invites senior scholars to talk about their teaching lives. These scholar-teachers candidly discuss how religious, educational, and family backgrounds inform their vocational commitments and, also, characterize their teaching persona. From the vantage point of a practiced teaching philosophy we get an intimate account of the value and art of teaching well.
 
Click here to watch all episodes of "The "I" That Teaches" on YouTube

 

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The “I” That Teaches - A new video project that invites senior scholars to talk about their teaching lives. These scholar-teachers candidly discuss how religious, educational, and family backgrounds inform their vocational commitments and, also, characterize their teaching persona. From the vantage point of a practiced teaching philosophy we get an intimate account of the value and art of teaching well.
 
We begin this series with an interview with Dr. Victor Anderson, Vanderbilt School of Divinity. The title for this project comes from a lecture that Prof. Anderson delivered at Wabash College.
 
Click here to watch all episodes of "The "I" That Teaches" on YouTube

 

See Also:

A conversation about scholarship and teaching with Dr. Roger Nam of George Fox University, Dr. Eric Barreto of Luther Seminary, and Dr. Kate Blanchard of Alma College.

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Academic Identities in Higher Education: The Changing European Landscape

Evans, Linda; and Nixon, Jon, eds.
Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. , 2015

Book Review

Tags: balancing teaching and scholarship   |   faculty development   |   faculty well-being
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Reviewed by: Joanne Robinson, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2016
Academic identity, like all identity, is fluid. This volume places questions about academic identity in the equally fluid context of “Europe,” which is here defined as at once united and fragmented, particularly after the economic crises of 2008. This volume pulls together thirteen articles in three sections: Frameworks and Perspectives, Academic Trajectories, and Formations and Re-formations. The authors are not sociologists of life course or scholars who study academic identity; they ...

Academic identity, like all identity, is fluid. This volume places questions about academic identity in the equally fluid context of “Europe,” which is here defined as at once united and fragmented, particularly after the economic crises of 2008. This volume pulls together thirteen articles in three sections: Frameworks and Perspectives, Academic Trajectories, and Formations and Re-formations. The authors are not sociologists of life course or scholars who study academic identity; they are, more usefully for this volume, speaking from their own contexts and experiences in European higher education from the late twentieth into the early twenty-first centuries.

The editors have done a fine job choosing and grouping these essays, many of which were written by authors in their second or third languages to comply with market demands for English publication. This is one of the many strengths of the book, as it illustrates the kinds of demands that are placed on European academics that are absent in many ways from American contexts. Nevertheless, much is familiar here: academics in neoliberal systems of mass higher education struggle with ever-increasing bureaucracy, top-down management, and the encroachment of academic “professionalism.” Pressure to be represented well in world rankings tends to encourage institutional systems of assessment and auditing of outcomes that shape the academic enterprise as an inward-looking, self-serving part of a labor-driven economy and individual academics as cogs in the machine. As Jon Nixon states in his introduction, treating academic work like labor, as a matter of “pre-specified outcomes and destinations,” produces an unfortunate mismatch: “Academic identity is – to come full circle – a process that is uncertain in direction and indeterminate in outcome” (13). To treat academic work as labor is to misunderstand the potential benefits of outward-looking institutions that value intellectual autonomy and innovation above target-setting and performance measures.

Many of the chapters in this volume could stand alone as case studies; each presents its own particular balance of interrogating biographical, institutional, or broader contextual identities and each brings a coherent and defined voice to the shared project. It is impossible to capture the richness of each of these chapters here, and each somehow manages to consider an individual life within the vast institutional, sociocultural, historical, and political contexts in which that life is lived.

Although there is nothing specific to either religious studies or theology in this volume, there is much here that will resonate with academics who struggle with being pulled away from research and teaching to comply with institutional mandates. This volume should help academics in all disciplines to reflect on the power of context and particularly institutional context to shape lives and careers. Implicit here is a call to embrace the best in higher education despite the “regulations, financial incentives, rewards, quality standards, as well as academic, public, and professional values” (6) that constrain and give shape to our identities. These essays hint that a mix of resilience and subversion might well be the academic’s best allies.

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147 practical Tips for Emerging Scholars: From Publishing to Time Management, Grant Seeking, and Beyond

King, Kathleen; and Cranston-Gingras, Ann
Atwood Publishing, 2014

Book Review

Tags: balancing teaching and scholarship   |   faculty development   |   faculty well-being
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Reviewed by: Whitney Cox, Temple University
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2016
The authors of 147 Practical Tips for Emerging Scholars describe their work as offering much “to initiate or advance your success as a scholar, and nothing to lose as you invest a short time to read it” (22).  This is a bold claim for a slender volume. However, this clear, honest, unpretentious work lives up to that promise. Authors Kathleen King and Ann Cranston-Gingras identify a key problem with the structure of ...

The authors of 147 Practical Tips for Emerging Scholars describe their work as offering much “to initiate or advance your success as a scholar, and nothing to lose as you invest a short time to read it” (22).  This is a bold claim for a slender volume. However, this clear, honest, unpretentious work lives up to that promise. Authors Kathleen King and Ann Cranston-Gingras identify a key problem with the structure of academia: Those who seek to engage with it too often find themselves without guidance: the professional lives of doctoral faculty, new faculty, and experienced faculty (the three groups the book addresses) are often unsupervised and lack critical guidance for developing and establishing professional reputations, maintaining schedules, pursuing tenure, and avoiding mistakes.

Guidance for making good professional decisions is what 147 Practical Tips seeks to provide. The key word which characterizes these tips is “practical”; the tips range from advice about scheduling to reminders to spell-check all correspondence. Some of the tips are about personal development; the authors focus not just on writing, but writing well, learning to vary styles and approaches. Others concern etiquette, with the dos and don’ts of collaborating with peers and contacting publication editors. The final section encourages scholars to apply this knowledge in the service of other emerging scholars, becoming the mentors to students and colleagues we wish we had had. Throughout, there is the acknowledgment that not all of the tips are relevant to all persons at all times; instead, King and Cranston-Gingras intend this to be a re-read resource, to be returned to as often as necessary.

Though both authors work in education departments, the tips are meant to be applicable across disciplines – which is one of the book’s unfortunate weaknesses, as most tips are by necessity wholly unspecific. In addition, the section on technology already feels a touch outdated, as though it were targeted to an older audience, one which could use reminders that Dropbox can facilitate collaboration and all-caps text reads like shouting.

For a short, cross-discipline guidebook, however, this book provides a significant amount of helpful hints and general guidance. Even in its limited scope, it encourages readers to take the extra steps they need to learn about publications, trends, and significant works inside their own disciplines, and then to apply the information here as necessary. The advice is often simple but rarely simplistic; even the most basic suggestions are good reminders of things too easy to forget in what can be chaotic pursuits. An emerging scholar myself, I would recommend this book to others on the path to establishing academic careers, and I expect to find myself opening it again.

 

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