Chapter 1: Why might you develop a pedagogical partnership program and what might get in the way?

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This chapter of Pedagogical Partnerships expands upon and develops the points listed in the introduction regarding why to develop a pedagogical partnership program. It offers research evidence and previously unpublished participant perspectives on the benefits of pedagogical partnership programs to all faculty and student participants; faculty who are new to institutions; students who have traditionally been underrepresented in and underserved by institutions of higher education; and institutions that want to transform their cultures. The chapter offers a discussion of a range of explicit and implicit purposes for developing a pedagogical partnership program, key assumptions and expectations that participants bring to partnership, and threshold concepts to partnership and explanations of why it is important to consider all these when embarking on the development of a pedagogical partnership program.

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Discussion Questions

Why develop a pedagogical partnership program?

If you are considering developing a pedagogical partnership program on your campus, we recommend that you gather both same-constituency and mixed-constituency groups of people together to address questions such as:

  • Why might you want to develop a pedagogical partnership program?
  • What explicit and implicit purposes can you articulate for developing a pedagogical partnership program?
  • In what ways would such a program be in keeping with the campus culture and in what ways might it be countercultural?

Consider using the “Templates and Activities to Explore Hopes, Concerns, and Strategies for Developing Pedagogical Partnership Programs” resource for discussions such as these.

What is the research evidence on the benefits of pedagogical partnership programs?

Some faculty, students, staff need research evidence to convince them of the relevance of any given approach; others have neither time nor interest in such scholarship. If research might be of interest to potential participants on your campus, consider sharing research on the benefits of participating in pedagogical partnership to:

  • all faculty and student participants
  • faculty who are new to institutions
  • students who have traditionally been underrepresented in and underserved by institutions of higher education
  • institutions that want to transform their cultures

In addition to the benefits outlined in chapter 1, consider using the “Selected Reading Lists” resource and “Outcomes of Pedagogical Partnership” resource in support of these conversations.

What might get in the way of your developing a pedagogical partnership program?

Given the significant challenges to traditional structures, roles, and relationships posed by pedagogical partnership, we recommend that you consider what might get in the way of your developing a partnership program. Again, with both same-constituency and mixed-constituency groups of people, draw on the set of points outlined in chapter 1 to explore together:

  • What are the most common challenges to developing pedagogical partnership?
  • What are key assumptions and expectations that participants bring?
  • What are the threshold concepts to partnership?

Useful templates and activities to use to address some of these questions might include a list of structured questions Alison and colleagues have developed for use at conferences as well as Doubting/Believing, Radical Listening, and Snowball activities. We include these in the “Templates and Activities to Explore Hopes, Concerns, and Strategies for Developing Pedagogical Partnership Programs” resource.