Faculty to sharpen skill sets

by Jennifer Ingram

There seems to be a lack of clarity about what exactly faculty development day consists of on Whitworth’s campus. Some students acknowledge that FDD is a chance for faculty to re-vamp their teaching techniques, and others are just thrilled to have a three day weekend.

“Faculty development day is a day to develop the faculty,” senior Samantha Trestik said.

“It’s a chance for full-time professors to invest in new perspectives and educate them in ways to better improve their teaching,” said Jackye Peacock, program coordinator of academic affairs and sponsored programs.

Peacock is in charge of the logistics of the mandatory day.

Archives show FDD extending back to October 1994, and have since occurred twice every year.

Whitworth incorporates FDD into the last Friday of each October and February as a way to break up the year and allow full-time faculty a chance to renew their teaching styles.

“We have received great feedback on how beneficial [FDD] is,” Peacock said.

This year’s development day has been titled “scholarship how-to” day, where members will talk about how to get a book contract, publishing information, and reviewing book work.

Faculty are asked to attend three of 15 classes, of which include different conversations all aimed around areas of scholarship.

Some of the topics from the previous years include: “learning in the 21st century,” “teaching ethics whether you like it or not” and “understanding our faith and mission.”

Mike Ingram, associate provost of faculty development and scholarship, used the example of a lumberjack when asked to describe FDD.

“A lumberjack sharpens their tools to chop wood more efficiently,” he said. “[FDD] allows faculty to have intellectual conversations about teaching pedagogies that will then help students to learn better.”

Ingram, who has spoken at many FDDs in the past, said the time will be used to inform faculty how to engage students in scholarships, refresh their memory on technology, and learn any new information. For new faculty who have just joined the university, this is a chance to learn new helpful tips that can help sharpen their teaching.

“This is an investment by the university to help faculty become even stronger teachers and advisers,” Ingram said.

He said he hopes that this time spent together, which is difficult to achieve during the semester, will promote more student-faculty collaboration.

Contact Jennifer Ingram at jingram13@my.whitworth.edu.

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