Winter 2012

In This Issue:

I. From the Guest Editor: Discovering the Importance of Student Voice and Active Participation Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A message from the Guest Editor, Marilyn Cohn, Director of the Finch Center for Teaching and Learning at Maryville University, in which she explains the focus of this special issue: stories of how some Maryville faculty, through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and action research, are moving toward new understandings of the central role that students can and should play in their own learning. She briefly describes the SoTL seminar she leads and argues that the essays in this journal make a strong case for the power of classroom research to illuminate the ways in which teachers and students can work together in higher education.

II. Introduction, in which Mary Ellen Finch, Vice President for Academic Affairs, provides the history and context that gave rise to the Finch Center for Teaching and Learning and its commitment to a SoTL Seminar Program and explains her own involvement in a new “students as consultants” program.

III. Toward a Blended Student/Teacher Voice in the Classroom: Reflections of a Teacher who was "Pulled Up Short," in which Shawn Pohlman, Associate Professor of Nursing, describes the negative response she received from students when she initially implemented a new Team-Based Learning Approach and how she discovered that “student-centered” strategies must be accompanied by student voice.

IV. From a Teaching Focus to a Student Centered Classroom Building Collaboration in the Classroom, in which Karen Tabak, Associate Professor of Accounting, traces her journey from seeing students as vessels to be filled to viewing students as active contributors and teachers in the classroom.

V. The Evolution of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Participant, in which Michael Kiener, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling, shares a career-long journey on how the examination of his pedagogy has led him to develop a commitment to student voice and collaboration in the classroom and helped him to develop his own voice as a teacher and researcher.

VI. Regarding Student Collaboration in Art & Design, in which Cherie Fister, Professor of Design, an AIGA Fellow, Director of Maryville’s Art & Design Programs, and Assistant Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, explains how the SoTL studies of many of her faculty members are leading to more explicit dialogues with students and opportunities for student leadership within the program.

VII. Magic Words: Students Learning and Teaching Writing in First Year Seminar, in which Jesse Kavadlo, Professor of English and Coordinator of the University Seminar for the First Year Experience, Abbie Nicoloff, class of 2012 and University Seminar Peer Mentor, and Jess Burgess, Amelia Copeland, and Kevin Olson, class of 2015, recount their teaching-learning experiences as participants in Jesse’s course, “Secret Words: Fantasy Novels and their Fans.”

VIII. Structuring a First-Year Seminar to Facilitate Self-Authorship: Developing a Shared Understanding of Self, in which Tammy Gocial, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Juliana Fussell, class of 2013 and University Seminar Peer Mentor, describe the way in which they collaborated to develop a course on “self-authorship” and reveal how that experience affected their own growth and that of their students.

IX. Dialogue on our Action Research Experience, in which Jen McCluskey, Associate Vice President for Student Success and First Year Experience, and Johannes Wich-Schwarz, Assistant Professor of English and Humanities, discuss with one another how the process of studying their own teaching in University Seminar led them to serious questions regarding the types of relationships they want to establish with their students.



Magic Words: Students Learning and Teaching Writing in First Year Seminar
Jesse Kavadlo, Abbie Nicoloff, Jess Burgess, Amelia Coplen, and Kevin Olson


Dialogue On Our Action Research Experience
McCluskey Jen and Johannes Wich-Schwarz