Dear Faculty & Students:
The University of Houston is a member of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning network www.cirtl.net. The CIRTL network consists of 23 universities with a shared mission of training science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, the future STEM faculty, to be better instructors in order to improve undergraduate STEM education. UH-CIRTL is partnering with the UH Center for Teaching Excellence – Division of TA Resources to provide additional program offerings designed to give STEM graduate students and post-docs a competitive edge in teaching and research mentoring.
Coffee Hour “Teaching at a primarily minority institution”
Thursday, Mar. 28, 12:00-1:00 pm CT
Location: 326 Farish Hall
FREE LIGHT LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED!!!
Is teaching at a historically black or Hispanic serving institution different from teaching at other institutions? What kinds of skills, understandings, approaches, sensitivities or strategies are helpful? Hear three perspectives on this very large topic and begin to explore some of the rewards and challenges of teaching at a primarily minority institution. Bring your experiences, perspectives and questions.
UH’s own Dr. Imani Goffney (Curriculum and Instruction), will share her experiences of teaching at a primary minority institution.
~ Join Dr. Goffney along with your fellow graduate students and post-docs in a learning community as this session is broadcast from the UH campus!
A limited number of seats are available for this live session in 326 Farish Hall (located on the 3rd floor of Farish Hall in the CITE computing lab suite 300). Doors will open at 11:30 pm, and Dr. Goffney will remain in the lab after the session until 1:30 pm for an extended discussion and Q/A. Come enjoy a FREE lunch as you mingle with Dr. Goffney, students, and faculty!
Please RSVP (by Tuesday, March 26 at 5pm) to Hibah Salem at (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure your seat!!
This Coffee Hour will also be facilitated through Blackboard Collaborate with the following faculty members from the CIRTL Network:
Tabitha Hardy, Post Doc, Institutional Research and Academic Career
Development Award (IRACDA) Fellow, University of Alabama at
Dr. Keri Mans, MERIT Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of
Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
To join a Coffee Hour~
Sessions take place in the Blackboard Collaborate room.
· The room opens one hour before each session.
· Headphones are required to prevent audio feedback, which can occur when using computer speakers (provided by CITE Lab)
· A microphone is also required (provided by CITE Lab)
· Additional information, including a participant tutorial, is available at the Blackboard Collaborate<http://www.cirtl.net/Blackboard> page.
A teleconference line is also available as a back-up: 1 (855) 947-8255 , passcode: 7457 063#
For questions regarding UH-CIRTL, please contact the Program Assistant, Hibah Salem at (email@example.com)
UH’s own Rathindra Bose, along with David Holt, wrote a nice op-ed piece today about the need for Texas and specifically Houston to build a better education system, if we wish to sustain the growth we’ve recently experienced from our energy industry. They write:
Quality education, from primary school through post-graduate-level work, is the key to a growing and sustainable energy industry, and the economic growth that accompanies it.
To promote this goal, they’ve sponsored events like the upcoming Energy Day event Oct. 20 downtown, which include fun hands-on activities like the CSTEM Challenge, which will highlight things like robotics and alternative vehicles.
What this op-ed and the Energy Day activities demonstrate is the importance of systemic educational improvement for this region’s economic goals. Here’s hoping that plenty of 12-year-old kids turn up at the George H. Brown center, and start dreaming up new ways to build cool robot cars.
It’s that time of the year when students leave us. Some graduate and we celebrate their growth and intellectual accomplishments. We are sorry to see them go. Others cross the stage and their parting is no cause for sweet sorrow. Some leave without ever crossing the stage. And some temporarily leave, returning in the fall or for a summer session.
There are the teachers and students who barely notice one another, and then there are the interactions and relationships that stay with individuals for a lifetime, for better or worse. Those moments, and their enduring power, are what make teaching such a risky, and rewarding, endeavor.
The Center for Teaching Excellence, in association with UH Human Resources and the University Commission on Women, will present an open workshop for new and all faculty on the “Art of Managing Graduate Students.”
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
12:00 – 12:50 p.m.
in room 306, M. D. Anderson Library
Experienced faculty and Human Resources professionals will present strategies for developing successful graduate experiences that include setting expectations and gaining commitment, effective communication, inspiring and motivating through burn-out and crisis, and impacting future work ethics.
You are welcome to bring your lunch with you. Cookies and beverages will be provided. Please R.S.V.P. to 713-743-9182 or email FSenate@central.uh.edu.
VIA the Chronicle of Higher Ed: Teaching: a “good deed most punished,” or an “innovative approaches”?Posted: February 7, 2012
If you want to experience a real whipsaw effect, read these two accounts of teaching in higher ed, the first from a Promotion and Tenure advice columnist in the Chronicle, the second an account of a teaching and learning conference just held at Harvard.
The first comes out with statements like the following:
High on any Top 10 list of the most frequent advice offered to young faculty members is this: No good deed goes unpunished.
The aphorism at first seems cynical, pessimistic, dysfunctional. Doing good, as members of a higher-education community, is our job. What if everyone just looked out for No. 1? The entire promotion-and-tenure system—which depends on altruistic volunteerism—would collapse. Nevertheless, there are many situations where taking too much time, trying too hard to do good, or doing good for the wrong reasons or for the wrong person can lead to career trouble, or worse.
The account of the highminded and undeniably expensive model of teaching at Harvard is equally compelling, but seems to be taking place in another universe:
Too often, faculty members teach according to habits and hunches, said Carl E. Wieman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who has extensively studied how to improve science education.
In large part, the problem is that graduate students pursuing their doctorates get little or no training in how students learn. When these graduate students become faculty members, he said, they might think about the content they want students to learn, but not the cognitive capabilities they want them to develop.
“It really requires someone to be doubly expert,” Mr. Wieman said. As sometimes happens in some disciplines and departments, a few people develop deeper knowledge of pedagogy. These doubly expert faculty members, he said, can show colleagues how to apply new approaches to teaching the discipline.
Such approaches would demand much more of students and faculty. Students should be made to grapple with the material and receive authentic and explicit practice in thinking like an expert, Mr. Wieman said. Faculty would need to provide timely and specific feedback, and move beyond lectures in which students can sit passively receiving information.
So how might we reconcile these contradictory pieces of advice, which seem equally plausible, depending on your institution of employment? Is it simply a matter of a two-tier education system that values engagement, but only for the students whose parents can afford it, or can these expectations of engagement for both faculty and students be applied across the board? Which will it be?