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December 2019

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In chapter 3 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education, we discuss ways of compensating student partners, and in chapter 5, we discuss what kind of structure weekly meetings of student partners might follow. The following resource addresses both of those questions.

As we discuss in chapter 3, one way to compensate student partners for their time is to situate the work in the academic arena by offering quarter- or half-credit courses or independent studies. The following is a version of a syllabus for a course that Alison designed for Floyd Cheung in his role as director of the student-faculty partnership program at Smith College. The topics and prompts can also be used for structuring weekly meetings outside of the framework of a course.

Course #: The Pedagogy of Student-Faculty Partnership

Conceptual Frame for the Course:

Cook-Sather and Felten (2017) define academic leadership in higher education as “any effort to enrich and improve teaching and learning” undertaken by an individual, such as a faculty member or student, or by a program. Students’ presence on this list expands traditional notions of who can be a leader in higher education and is integral to Cook-Sather and Felten’s argument for “an ethic of reciprocity and the practice of partnership” in learning and teaching in higher ed contexts. Such an ethic and its associated practice are consistent with “interpretive pedagogies that recognize plurality, incommensurability and contingency as factors that inevitably impact upon human understanding” (Nixon 2012, 2) and with commitments to “cultivating expanded moral sympathies, deepened democratic dispositions, and a serious sense of responsibility for the world” (Hansen 2014,  4). Student-faculty partnerships position students to engage with their faculty and staff partners in the “collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways, to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision making, implementation, investigation, or analysis” (Cook-Sather, Bovill, and Felten 2014, 6-7). The pedagogy of student-faculty partnership, then, is, like pedagogical partnership itself, premised on a more expansive notion of academic leadership enacted through an ethic of reciprocity.

Course Description:

This course meets once a week for two hours. We will explore theories of teaching and learning as well as theories and practices of pedagogical partnership, and, in both writing and conversation, we will reflect on your experiences of engaging in student-faculty partnerships. The course is open to students involved in pedagogical partnerships of any kind, but priority goes to students involved in partnerships supported by our teaching and learning center.

Course Commitments:

  • Regular, on-time attendance and constructive contribution to class (2 hours per week)
  • Thoughtful completion of weekly reading and writing assignments (2 hours per week)
  • Participation in and reflection on a student-faculty partnership (2 hours per week)
  • Thorough completion of culminating projects
    • Annotated list of faculty partner’s pedagogical practices
    • Analysis of your own learning from and about partnership

Accessibility Statement:

Students who think they may need accommodations in this course because of the impact of a learning, physical or psychological disability must contact [name of coordinator], Coordinator of Access Services (phone number or email) as soon as possible to verify their eligibility for reasonable academic accommodations.  Early contact will help to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and delays in arranging accommodations, if you are eligible for them. Additionally, students are encouraged to meet with me privately to discuss any academic concerns.

Week 1: Introductions

  • Discuss goals of course
  • Read and discuss together Guidelines for Working with Faculty Partners
    • How do these apply to any kind of partnership?
    • What do they illuminate about student-faculty pedagogical partnerships in particular?

Prompt for in-class reflection: What are your hopes, strengths, expectations, and worries about working in a pedagogical partnership?

  • Individual writing in response to the questions above
  • Sharing of responses
  • Identifying and reinforcing strengths

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: What are your understandings and hopes for the partnership in which you are or will be engaged? (Write a first version of this response based on your in-class reflections and discussion and before you complete the readings. Then add a second set of reflections after completing the readings, noting what might have been affirmed, clarified, or complicated by the readings.)

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C., & Felten, P. (2014). Chapter 1: What Are Student-Faculty Partnerships? Our Guiding Principles and Definition. In Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Matthews, K. E. (2017). Five propositions for genuine students as partners practice. International Journal of Students as Partners, 1(2).

Recommended:

  • Cox, M. D., and D. L. Sorenson. (2000). Student collaboration in faculty development. In To improve the academy: Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development. Vol. 18. Edited by M. Kaplan, 97–106. Bolton, MA: Anker.
  • Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten. (2014). Chapter 2: Preliminary Questions about Student-Faculty PartnershipsIn Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Matthews, K. E. (2016). Students as partners as the future of student engagement. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(1), 1-5. https://sehej.raise-network.com/raise/article/view/380.
  • Healey, M., Flint, A. & Harrington, K. (2014). Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: Higher Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/resources/engagement_through_partnership.pdf
  • Gärdebo, J., and M. Wiggberg. (2012). Importance of student participation in future academia. In J. Gärdebo and M. Wiggberg (Eds.), Students, the university’s unspent resource: Revolutionising higher education using active student participation (pp. 7–14). Pedagogical Development Report 12. Report series from the Division for Development of Teaching and Learning. Uppsala, Sweden: Univ. of Uppsala.
  • Allin, L. (2014). Collaboration between staff and students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: The potential and the problems. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 2, 1: 95–102.

Week 2: What Is Student-Faculty Partnership?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • What insights have you drawn from your own experiences, from others’ efforts, and from published accounts that inform your approach to developing a productive partnership?

Prompt for in-class reflection: How do you embark upon and/or establish a partnership? What advice did or will you draw on from the guidelines, and what challenges have you experienced or do you anticipate?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: What is your concept of education? What role, if any, does partnership play in that conception? What role could it play?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

Recommended:

  • Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge Building: Theory, Pedagogy, and Technology.
  • Cook-Sather, A., (2006). Education Is Translation: A Metaphor for Change in Learning and Teaching(the preface and first two chapters) 

Week 3: How do you conceptualize education? What informs that conceptualization? How does partnership work fit with your conceptualization?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
  • Share observation notes and discuss strategies
    • What is your partner doing to establish the learning environment he/she wants? How do those efforts reflect the conceptualization underlying the course?
    • How are you approaching observation, analysis, and feedback in your faculty partner’s course?

Prompts for in-class reflection:

  • What do you feel good about accomplishing so far in your role in your partnership?
  • What has your partner attempted or accomplished that you can particularly affirm?
  • What kind of learning environment does your partnership create for you and your faculty partner as well as for students enrolled in the faculty member’s course?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: How do students learn, and how do student-faculty partnerships support learning?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman. (2010). “How Learning Works” (a very brief definition of learning and introduction to seven research-based principles for how learning works drawn from How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching [3 pages])
  • Doyle, T., & Zakrajsek , T. (2014). “Mindsets toward Learning” (explains what a mindset is and how it is formed; contrasts fixed mindset with growth mindset; excerpts are from Chapter 7: Mindsets Toward Learning, in the book, The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony With Your Brain[6 pages])
  • Volk, S. (2017) “What Am I Doing? Is It Getting Me Anywhere?” Scaffolding Student Metacognition. [blog post from Oberiln’s Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence]
  • Goodblar, D. (2015). “Modeling the Behavior We Expect in Class.” Chronicle Vitae.
  • Jaschick, S. (2011).“Can Students Learn to Learn?” (article from Inside Higher Ed that discusses the importance of students developing metacognition [3 pages])
  • Duckworth, E. (1987). “The Virtues of Not Knowing” (a chapter from The Having of Wonderful Ideasthat focuses on how knowing the right answer is a passive virtue whereas knowing what to do when you do not know the answer is more important [6 pages])
  • Berrett, D. (2012). “Can Colleges Manufacture Motivation?” (a discussion of how motivation can be inspired/generated; it is not simply intrinsic; 3 pages])
  • Wineburg, S. (2003). “Teaching the Mind Good Habits” (a discussion of the importance of explicitly teaching students how to read critically; [3 pages])

Recommended:

Week 4: How Do Students Learn, and How Do Student-Faculty Partnerships Support Learning?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • What is your understanding of how learning works?
    • Who are the learners in the class or context in which you are partnering?
    • What does your partner (need to) know about his/her students, and what are his/her learning goals for them?
    • What kind of learning does your partnership foster for you and your faculty partner as well as for students enrolled in the faculty member’s course?
  • Bring up mid-semester feedback (suggestions for preparation)

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: What is the role of reflection in teaching and learning? What supports such reflection? What hinders it?

Readings for Next Session:

  • Torosyan, R. “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher” (book review of a classic text that models and analyzes how to be a reflective teacher)
  • Sternberg, R. “Teaching Creativity” (advice on how to teach students to think creatively rather than memorize)
  • Lucas, L. J. “Awake, Accountable, Engaged” (two basic strategies to engage students in the classroom and hold them accountable for their own learning by systematically gauging their comprehension of presented material)
  • Blow, C. M. (2104). “Nurturing Matters” (a New York Times article about the importance of nurturing to student development)
  • “Pedagogical Approaches That Promote Active Student Engagement” (a set of pedagogical approaches that get students engaged and help them learn more actively)
  • “Questions That Inspire Constructive Contributions”
  • “Student Recommended Pedagogical Approaches”

Week 5: What is your partner’s teaching “style” and how does it help your partner meet their learning goals for their students?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • What does your faculty partner’s teaching style tell you about what matters most in their course?
    • In what ways does your faculty partner’s pedagogical style support student learning?
    • In what ways does your partnership support your faculty partner’s and your own reflection?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: How can faculty create learning environments that are welcoming and productively challenging to a diversity of students?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Cook-Sather, A., & Des-Ogugua, C. (forthcoming). Lessons We Still Need to Learn on Creating More Inclusive and Responsive Classrooms: Recommendations from One Student-Faculty Partnership Program. International Journal of Inclusive Education.
  • (an article based on a report informed by Bryn Mawr and Haverford faculty and Bryn Mawr and Haverford students of color)
  • Harper, Shaun R., & Davis, Charles H. F. III. (2016). Eight Actions to Reduce Racism in College Classrooms. AAUP. https://www.aaup.org/comment/3881#.WhTRGbT81E5
  • Volk, S. (2017). Help One, Help All: Universal Design in the Classroom. [blog post with multiple helpful links]
  • “Teaching in Racially Diverse Classrooms”(from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning)
  • “Creating an Identity-Safe Classroom” (advice from University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching)

Recommended:

  • Chávez, A. F., & Longerbeam, S. D. (2016). Teaching Across Cultural Strengths: A Guide to Balancing Integrated and Individuated Cultural Frameworks in College Teaching.
  • Chesler, M. A. (1997). Perceptions of Faculty Behavior by Students of Color. (University of Michigan Occasional Paper #7)
  • “Teaching for Retention in Science, Engineering, and Math Disciplines: A Guide for Faculty”(Occasional Paper No. 25, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan)
  • Lareau, A. (2002). Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families.American Sociological Review, 67, 5, 747-776.
  • “Stereotype Threat” (links and abstracts from articles)
  • “15-minute Writing Exercise to Reduce Stereotype Threat”
  • Walton et al. (2011). A Brief Social-Belonging InterventionImproves Academic and Health Outcomes of Minority StudentsScience 331, 1447.
  • “How School Taught Me I Was Poor” (blog entry from Teaching Tolerance)
  • Roth, M. (2014).Young Minds in Critical Condition (New York Times op ed)
  • Obeland, C. A., Munson, C. A., & Hutchinson, J. S. Silent Students’ Participation in a Large Active Learning Science Classroom.Journal of College Science Teaching, 2012.
  • Cook-Sather, A. (2015). Dialogue across differences of position, perspective, and identity: Reflective practice in/on a student-faculty pedagogical partnership program. Teachers College Record, 117, 2.

Week 7: How can you help your partner create and sustain an inclusive and responsive classroom?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • What kind of classroom climate is supportive of a diversity of learners?
    • What are the meanings and relevance of safety, risk, and trust in relationship to pedagogy?
    • What lessons can we draw from the “Toward More Culturally Responsive Classrooms” project and other sources to think about creating a classroom environment conducive to learning for all students?
    • In what ways is your partnership inclusive and in what ways could it be more so?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: What is the role of assessment in teaching and learning?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Bain, K. (2004). Chapter 7: How Do They Evaluate Their Students and Themselves? What The Best College Teachers Do.
  • “Inspiring Assessment Practices” (two-page document that includes recommendations by TLI faculty and students)
  • Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten. (2014). Chapter 9: Assessing Processes and Outcomes of Student-Faculty PartnershipsIn Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Recommended:

  • Jaffe, D. (2012). “Stop Telling Students to Study for Exams” (an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that argues that “studying for exams” encourages student behaviors that work against the larger purpose of human intellectual development and learning)
  • “Contribution Rubric” (one-page document developed by a Haverford faculty member)
  • Warner, J. (2014). “It’s Impossible to Teach What I Want My Students to Learn” (Inside Higher Edhttps://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/its-impossible-teach-what-i-want-my-students-learn
  • “To Consider When Grading” (a list of components to consider and questions to ask yourself)
  • “No Grading, More Learning” (about Cathy Davidson’s experiment at Duke University)
  • Lang, J. (2008). Week 6: Assignments and Grading.On Course.
  • Rubric examples(from various faculty members)
  • “Students’ Use of and Perspectives on Rubrics”
  • “What Do Students Think of Rubrics”
  • Cook-Sather, A. (2009). From traditional accountability to shared responsibility: The benefits and challenges of student consultants gathering midcourse feedback in college classrooms. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 34, 2: 231–241.

Week 8: How can your partner develop an integrated approach to assessment and grading?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • Are your faculty partner’s forms of assessment and evaluation aligned with his or her pedagogical approaches?
    • What kind of active role, if any, do students take in their own assessment and evaluation?
    • In what ways might you assess your partnership work?

Prompt for in-class reflection: In what ways might you want to shift the focus of your work (perhaps to planning for other courses or learning opportunities)?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: What are some of your questions about and some of the challenges of student-faculty partnerships?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten. (2014). Chapter 6: The Challenges of Student-Faculty PartnershipsIn Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Bovill, C., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Millard, L., and Moore-Cherry, N. (2015). Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: Overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student-staff partnerships. Higher Education. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-015-9896-4?sa_campaign=email/event/articleAuthor/onlineFirst.

Recommended:

  • Cousin, G. (2010). Neither teacher-centred nor student-centred: Threshold concepts and research partnerships. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education 2 (February).
  • Crawford, K. (2012). Rethinking the student-teacher nexus: Students as consultants on teaching in higher education. In Towards teaching in public: Reshaping the modern university. Edited by M. Neary, H. Stevenson, and L. Bell, 52–67. London: Continuum.

Week 9: Questions about and challenges of partnership

  • Discuss students’ written reflections
    • What challenges or complexities have you encountered in your partnership?
    • What theories of education, learning, and teaching and what practices of partnership could illuminate/inform these experiences?

Prompt for in-class reflection: When have you felt most engaged and when least engaged in your partnership? When have you felt positively surprised and when unexpectedly disappointed? What can you do to re-energize your partnership for the remainder of the semester?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: How can you re-energize yourself/partnership?

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

  • Mulligan, B. (2011). Meditations on a “taut but happy” class. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 2. https://repository.brynmawr.edu/tlthe/vol1/iss2/4/
  • Conner, J. (2012). Steps in walking the talk: How working with a student consultant helped me integrate student voice more fully into my pedagogical planning and practice. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 6. https://repository.brynmawr.edu/tlthe/vol1/iss6/6/
  • Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten. (2014). Chapter 5: “Outcomes of Student-Faculty Partnerships Support from Research Literature and Outcomes for Faculty and Students.” In Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Week 10: Reflecting on and re-energizing partnerships

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • What ideas do you have for re-energizing and/or redirecting your partnership for the remainder of the semester?
    • Do you discern outcomes of your partnership that are similar to those presented in the readings? Different?

Written Reflection Due Before Next Class:

  • One-page reflection: In what ways can all students be partners in learning and teaching?

Readings for Next Session:

  • Charkoudian, L., Bitners, C., Bloch, N., and Nawal, S. (2015). Dynamic discussions and informed improvements: Student-led revision of first-semester organic chemistry.Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 15. https://repository.brynmawr.edu/tlthe/vol1/iss15/5/
  • Schlosser, J. and Sweeney, A. (2015). One year of collaboration: Reflections on student-faculty partnershipTeaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 15.  https://repository.brynmawr.edu/tlthe/vol1/iss15/2/
  • Reckson, L. V. (2014). The weather in HemingwayTeaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, https://repository.brynmawr.edu/tlthe/vol1/iss11/6/
  • Burke, H. (2013). Legitimizing student expertise in student-faculty partnerships. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 10.

Week 11: Can all students be partners in learning and teaching?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • In what ways can students be partners in learning and teaching within and beyond classrooms?

Prompt for in-class reflection:

  • One-page reflection: What aspects of your partnership could inform other teaching and learning relationships, which could not, and why?

Writing Assignments Due Before Next Class:

  • Draft an annotated list of what your partner has accomplished and experimented with and a shorter list of considerations and/or questions to take forward
    • Each annotation should include (a) the pedagogical practice, (b) when it is or could be employed, and (c) why it is effective
  • Draft letter thanking your partner for the experience and specifying what you got out of it

Readings for Next Session:

Required:

“Critical Questions to Ask About Your Course” (questions taken from Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do)

  • Lang, J. (2015). “Three Essential Functions of a Syllabus, Part 1” (article from The Chronicle of Higher Education about the three functions of what Lang calls “a learning syllabus”)
  • Lang, J. (2006). “The Promising Syllabus” (an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education that discussed Ken Bain’s notion of the syllabus as a promise rather than a contract)
  • “Student Hopes for Syllabi” (the perspectives of Bryn Mawr and Haverford students about what makes an effective syllabus)

Recommended:

  • Bain, K. (2004). Chapter 3: How Do They Prepare to Teach? What The Best College Teachers Do
  • Fink, Chapters 3 and 4 in Creating Significant Learning Experiences
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by Design (book and template)
  • Guidelines and templates for developing syllabi (link, documents, and rubrics)

Week 12: What approaches might your partner take to developing and revising courses or other learning forums for next semester or next year?

  • Discuss readings and students’ written reflections
    • How can you support your faculty partner in planning for future courses or other learning forums?
    • Draw on texts to discuss approaches to pedagogical planning

Writing Assignments:

  • Complete annotated list of what your partner has accomplished and experimented with and a shorter list of considerations and/or questions to take forward
  • Complete letter thanking your partner for the experience and specifying what you got out of it
  • Start drafting analysis of your own learning from and about partnership

Week 13: Lessons Learned

  • Drawing on your annotated lists and letters, what insights about teaching, learning, and partnership are you taking forward?
  • What advice do you have for others at Smith College who might want to engage in student-faculty partnerships?

References for Conceptual Frameworks

Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C., & Felten, P. (2014). Engaging students as partners in learning & teaching: A guide for faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cook-Sather, A., & Felten, P. (2017). Ethics of academic leadership in teaching and learning. In Frank Wu and Margaret Wood (Eds.), Cosmopolitan Perspectives on Becoming an Academic Leader in Higher Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Hansen, D. T. (2014). Cosmopolitanism as cultural creativity: New modes of educational practice in globalizing times. Curriculum Inquiry 44, 1, 1–14.

Nixon, J. (2012). Interpretive pedagogies for higher education: Arendt, Berger, Said, Nussbaum and their legacies. London: Bloomsbury Academic.