book cover of What Teaching Looks Like
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ISBN: 978-1-951414-07-8

June 2022

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ISBN: 978-1-951414-06-1

July 2022

Connecting the unique qualities of authentic photographs with their often-missing place in representations of higher education, this chapter draws together commentary about the photographic genre with trends in the valuing of college and university teaching. With photographs from a variety of disciplines and institution types, readers come face-to-face with how and why postsecondary education matters—the intense, challenging, sometimes skillful, real moments when students and teachers interact to produce something new. While arguments abound both challenging and lauding the value of college, the relative privacy of classrooms means that actual moments of learning are rarely seen. Instructors whose classes were photographed discuss how and why these interactions, and how they are reflected in the images, matter so much.

Discussion Questions

Questions for faculty and teaching assistants

  • Which of the photographs in this chapter capture the aspects of teaching that you find to be complex, challenging, demanding, subtle, or nuanced?
  • What moments in your own teaching do you wish you could freeze and examine more closely through photographs? What do you think you would find in those images?
  • If you had access to photographs of your teaching, how could they complement or contribute to the other ways you document and communicate about your work as a faculty member?

Questions for instructional, academic, and faculty developers

  • How could you use authentic photographs of teaching and learning—either those in this chapter or images from your own institution—to prompt reflection on and changes in teaching practices?
  • Which instructors, classes, disciplines, or programs would most benefit from access to high-quality, authentic photographs of their teaching at your institution? Why?
  • Apart from the faculty and future faculty you work with, who else do you think needs to see and reflect on authentic images of teaching and learning at your institution? What would you want them to see, discuss, and learn from the experience?

Questions for other staff and administrators

  • How could you use authentic photographs of teaching and learning—either those in this chapter or images from your own institution—to communicate with prospective students and faculty?
  • In what way do your institution’s existing photographs value or devalue the work of teaching?
  • Examining the photographs in this chapter, what do you notice about the work of faculty teaching? About the efforts of students learning? What surprises you?