Spring 2012

In This Issue:

I. Introduction, in which Alison Cook-Sather, Editor, and Coordinator of The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI), describes the theme of this issue: “behind the scenes” glimpses into how faculty-student partnerships unfold through the TLI. Guest Student Editor, Mia Chin, Bryn Mawr College ‘12, describes her experience of working behind the scenes in the TLI.

II. Facilitating Quantum Leaps: Reflections on How to Promote Active Student Learning in a Physics Classroom, in which James Battat, Assistant Professor of Physics, uses an excerpt from observation notes his student consultant took in his classroom and his reflections on those to illuminate the pedagogical challenge he and his student consultant focused on during his first semester teaching at Bryn Mawr College: how to actively engage students in learning physics.

III. Discerning Growth: Lessons from One TLI Partnership, in which Zanny Alter, Bryn Mawr College ’09, reflects upon the ways in which she struggled to discern growth during one of her partnerships but, through both the process of gathering mid-course feedback at the time and reflecting on that process subsequently, came to discern the growth that had in fact been taking place.

IV. The Mid-semester Challenge: Filtering the Flow of Student Feedback, in which Alicia Walker, Assistant Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, shares an email exchange with her student consultant focused on preparing for, gathering, and responding to midsemester feedback from students enrolled in one of courses. She offers as well a kind of meta-commentary on the exchange, providing both context for and interpretation of her experience not only with gathering midcourse feedback but also with the larger concept of consulting and listening to students.

V. The Power of Sharing the Student Perspective: Benefits to Faculty and to Student Consultants, in which Emily Cunningham, Haverford College ’12, shares some of the insights she offered her faculty partners and the ways in which having the opportunity to offer those informed her own learning and growth — as a consultant, as a student, and as a future professor.

VI. Steps in Walking the Talk: How Working with a Student Consultant Helped Me Integrate Student Voice More Fully into My Pedagogical Planning and Practice, in which Jerusha Conner, Assistant Professor of Education at Villanova University, traces the development of a deeper awareness of problematic dynamics in her classroom through her weekly dialogue with her student consultant. Through her week-by-week analysis, she shows how she and her student together developed ways of addressing the issues each discerned from a different angle.

VII. Making Gratitude Explicit, in which Maggie Larson, Bryn Mawr College ’10, reflects on her experience as a student consultant and presents, in both narrative form and a visual representation of overlapping circles, a set of examples of how explicit expressions of gratitude among participants in the TLI provide the foundation for the trust and respect that are both required for and fostered by the program.

VIII. Finding Voices in Reflection: How My Work through the TLI Changed My Classroom Dynamics, in which Sara Bressi Nath, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Bryn Mawr College, discusses how, through the observations of her student consultant and the dialogue she and her consultant had around those, she came to realize the ways in which she was silencing both her students and her more exploratory self and how she changed her approach.

IX. An Equal Partnership: Preparing for Faculty-Student Team Teaching of “Cultural History of Chinese Astronomy” through the TLI, in which Yonglin Jiang, Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, and Yi Wang, Bryn Mawr College ’14, describe the process through which they worked together as equal partners to conceptualize and plan to co-teach an undergraduate course.

X. In Memoriam: Duane Kight, a selection of blog posts written during the spring of 2010, when Kight, Associate Professor of French at Haverford College, participated in a TLI pedagogy seminar and worked with a student consultant. These are included to honor Kight, who passed away unexpectedly on April 30, 2012, and afford a glimpse of a faculty member’s reflections — the thought behind the teaching.