Chapter 2: How do you know what kind of partnership is right for your context, and why might faculty and students want to participate?

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This chapter of Pedagogical Partnerships opens with a set of guiding questions to address in order to decide on the kind of program best suited to any given context. To offer readers a sense of the range of approaches to conceptualizing pedagogical partnership and also to situate the type of program the book focuses on, the chapter includes brief overviews of five programs: the Student Partners Program at McMaster University in Canada; Co-create UVA at the University of Virginia in the United States; a unique approach to introducing partnership at Queensland University in Australia; a partnership program at Kaye Academic College of Education, Be’er Sheva, Israel; and an approach to curriculum co-creation at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. It addresses why faculty and students might want to participate in pedagogical partnership programs, and it provides an overview of how programs based on or similar to SaLT have developed at other institutions.

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Discussion Questions

We discuss in chapter 2 the kinds of key questions you will want to address to decide what kind of pedagogical partnership program would be a good fit for your context. Context matters. There is no one-size-fits-all model, although the questions we offer should be useful across contexts.

Who on your campus is interested and invested in the idea of partnership?

It’s key to find collaborators who are open, engaged, and thoughtful. Might you gather such people together and address these questions:

  • What is the aim, scale, and time frame of the project or initiative?
  • What are the conceptual frameworks adopted that will guide understandings and practices?
  • What are the emotions, attitudes, behaviors, and values of the participants in pedagogical partnership?
  • What is the meaning of partnership, or how will you define what it is that you hope and plan to do?

What can you learn from existing models of pedagogical partnership?

While you will need to develop a program that is appropriate to your context, you do not need to invent everything from scratch. What can you learn from the programs that have already developed at institutions like yours and different from yours?

  • Which aspects of the approaches taken at the following institutions might you want to build on or emulate?
    • McMaster University in Canada
    • University of Virginia in the United States
    • University of Queensland in Australia
    • Kaye Academic College of Education in Be’er Sheva, Israel
    • Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • How have SaLT and programs like it expanded beyond student-faculty partnerships?
  • In what other ways might existing partnership programs be further developed/expanded?

How can you learn about student and faculty interests and goals?

Looking outward at other institutions will give you certain kinds of information, but you also need to get a sense from the members of your own educational institution of their particular interests and goals.

  • What questions might you include in surveys and for focus groups to learn why faculty and students might want to participate in a pedagogical partnership program?
  • Are there places on campus where partnership is already happening that you could connect to or build on?

What is missing on campus that partnership could help address?