March 23, 2007

L. Dee Fink: The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well

Dr. L. Dee Fink presented the keynote address, "The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well" to faculty, staff, students, and Regional Center Learning Community guests last Friday in Olscamp Hall. His visit was part of both the First Annual Teaching and Learning Fair and the Student Achievement Assessment Committee (SAAC) Awards, held the night before.

[NOTE: If you were unable to attend, WBGU taped the presentation and it can be viewed via the DVSS. After authentication with BGSU login, search for "The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well."]

Here are some brief highlights from Dr. Fink's keynote:
  • The iceberg metaphor for teaching: Above the surface - what and how we teach; Below (hidden) - how we gear up and who we are as professionals
  • Focus not on "just teaching," but on "teaching well"
  • If we want to experience the deep joy and fulfill the responsibility to students and society at large, we are going to have to rethink what we do and how we are doing it
  • Group tests on "readiness assurance" -- after an introductory reading; used for feedback; small grade received by all; learning from each other in preparation for next phase(s) of learning (part of his "Creating Significant Learning Experiences" book)
  • Jet Blue's reservation specialists (many whom are housewives working from home) get 4 hours of professional development each month... "isn't college teaching at least as important as airline reservations?"
  • It's an exciting, challenging journey, with lots of bumps, but it's well worth it!
Look for our upcoming Communicating for Learners newsletter with more on Dr. Fink's keynote.

For more information on Dr. Fink and his work:

What about your highlights from the keynote or your own thoughts/experiences on the "joy and responsibility of teaching well?" Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perspective of a graduate student: I thought Fink's lecture was very inspirational. Sometimes I'm not quite sure faculty realize their role in retention. Students need to feel a connection with someone in the community if they are going to thrive. An instructor can provide that opportunity by engaging students in learning and showing they care about student's professional growth.

I 100% agree that higher education institutions need to stop looking for just content experts and start searching for individuals dedicated to becoming professional educators. There is a big difference between an instructor who knows how to teach well and an instructor who doesn't put course development and student engagement high on their priority list. Instructors who teach well are the ones we remember our entire life and shape us into who we become. That's a big job that deserves a great deal of time, energy, and continuous development.