Category: Faculty Development

The Cohort Effect: Coming of Age in Academia

The non-italicized portions below are excerpted from portions of my dissertation-in-progress.  Just so we’re clear, the quoted material in this post is strictly copyrighted (not licensed under the CC for the rest of the blog). There is little doubt that self-experience influences beliefs (Nespor, 1987 and Goodman, 1988 as cited by Pajares, 1992). Instructors’ self-experience regarding educational practice comes first from their own experiences as a student (e.g. how they experienced instruction from a students persepective), and second, from their experiences as a practitioner in the classroom (e.g. the outcomes they observed as a result of their instruction). Early experiences tend to form beliefs that are highly resistant to change (Pajares, 1992). These beliefs are so strong that people will go out of their way to avoid confronting contrary evidence or engage in discussion that might harm these beliefs (Pajares, 1992). Instructors may present particularly resilient educational beliefs they spent years experiencing the system of education and likely, and most had positive identification with education to be motivated to pursue a career in it (Pajares, 1992; Ginsburg and Newman, 1985). There is some natural resistance to change as a result of the human aging process, but there is also evidence that the greatest resistance to change in academia seems to come from cohort effects (Lawrence & Blackburn, 1985). In the cohort effect, new propositions may be in conflict with...

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Motivating math faculty to adopt new technologies

Well, I’d like to say I know exactly how to do this, but I’m still researching the theory behind this one and experimenting a bit myself. I would like to send you to a recent issue of the Educause Review called “Back to School: It’s All About the Faculty” This issue contains several articles about the difficulty of getting faculty to adopt technology in their teaching and the challenges faced by faculty who try to learn new technologies. There are three articles that I’d recommend reading here: Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions (Moore, A. H., Fowler, S. B., and Watson, C. E., 2007)brings up the necessity of also teaching students how to learn in new ways. If you’ve ever tried something new in your class, surely you’ve had students that “push back” against anything contrary to lecture… so you know what they’re talking about here. My Computer Romance (Campbell, G., 2007) is a meandering story about how the author finally “fell in love” with technology. What I found to ring true about this one was his idea that for every faculty member, there is some “hook” that will get them to finally bring technology into their classroom and use it in their teaching. The real trick is finding the requisite hook, and everyone will have a different one. Faculty 2.0 (Hartman, J. L.,...

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