Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience
The University of Washington's Growth in Faculty Teaching Study
Alternative formats available from:
Table of contents
Shows what kind of changes college faculty make to their teaching and why they make them.
The image of college faculty members as abstracted, white-haired, tweed-jacketed professors, mumbling lectures from notes that were yellowed by twenty years of repeated use is still pervasive. In this view, college faculty care only about their research and have little connection to the students sitting passively in front of them. Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience directly challenges this view of today's college faculty and serves as a guide for graduate students and new faculty who seek ways—both personal and pedagogical—to become more effective teachers.
Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience reports the results of the University of Washington's Growth in Faculty Teaching Study (UW GIFTS), which sought to find out whether or not faculty ever change what they do in the classroom, even when there is little external pressure for them to do so. Key findings in the study were that all courses that faculty members taught were deeply embedded in their academic disciplines, even freshman-level classes; that content and critical thinking as goals for learning could not be separated; that faculty members were making changes to their teaching continuously; that such changes were motivated by the faculty member's intentional assessment of the learning needs of her particular classes; and that most changes were aimed at helping students meet faculty members' goals for learning.
Catharine Hoffman Beyer is Research Scientist and Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program at the University of Washington. Edward Taylor is Dean and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Gerald M. Gillmore is former Director of the Office of Educational Assessment at the University of Washington.
"This book is valuable for revealing in quantifiable terms what many in this field already know; that teaching is a dynamic and malleable activity. But what it also reveals is that the greatest changes in the classroom occur when professors are tuned into the intimate voice of their own discipline, within the context of their own classroom. " — Teaching Theology and Religion
"This is a beautifully written book, careful in describing the study's methods and judicious in reporting results. " — Change
"This book captures the voices of faculty engaged in the classroom in a fashion that I have not seen before. In the midst of a cacophony of works denouncing the professoriate as insensitive to problems of student learning (generally with little evidence), this study offers a glimpse into the real attitudes of a large group of instructors. " — David Pace, coeditor of Decoding the Disciplines: Helping Students Learn Disciplinary Ways of Thinking