What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty

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9781118103296: What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty
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Praise for What Our Stories Teach Us

"In her new book What Our Stories Teach Us, Linda Shadiowinvites college faculty to use their personal and professionalstories to reflect more critically and meaningfully on theirteaching practice. Guiding her readers with a gentle but sure hand,Shadiow painstakingly shows that by systematically examining oureducational and pedagogical biographies from a range ofperspectives, we gain deeper insight into the pivotal moments thatenliven our teaching and sustain our commitment to ongoingprofessional growth. I expect to be learning from this humane bookfor many years to come." —Stephen Preskill,Distinguished Professor of Civic Engagement and Leadership, WagnerCollege

"Essential reading for every educator who strives to be a betterteacher. Shadiow's book offers us a fascinating process to mine ourpersonal teaching and learning stories for the valuable lessonsthey contain." —Jim Sibley, Centre for InstructionalSupport, University of British Columbia

"In this well-conceived and well-written book, Linda Shadiowgently guides faculty along a path toward unearthing the richstories of their lives that offer deep and enduring insight intotheir practice." —Dannelle D. Stevens, professor andauthor, Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing forLearning, Teaching, Professional Insight, and PositiveChange

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From the Inside Flap:

Faculty pursuing a deeper understanding of their teaching havelong used critical reflection as a means to do so, but it is notalways clear how to convert general insights into specificpractices and teaching techniques that will ultimately improvestudent learning.

What Our Stories Teach Us enables faculty to deeply andsystematically examine their teaching experiences, stories, andchoices to gain real insight into what these experiences can teachthem. In the book, Linda Shadiow invites faculty to engage in athree-stage process. First, she encourages faculty to recallstories from their own educational biographies. Next, Shadiowdemonstrates how to view these stories as critical incidentsinstead of mere reminiscences. Finally, she introduces an approachfaculty can use to analyze and then interpret these stories for thebenefit of renewal and professional growth in teaching.

It is not likely that faculty have looked at a collection oftheir experiences to see where details offer dissonance orresonance, nor that they have considered linking threads in arepertoire of stories to understand how they have developed ascollege teachers. By doing so, faculty can see how personaltouchstones suggest ways to proceed in their teaching practices.Moving beyond telling stories to gaining an understanding of thosestories can be even more satisfying and ultimately have more impactin classrooms, especially when confidence in teaching may wax andwane over many years of service.

What Our Stories Teach Us seeks to build on the heart ofcuriosity, wonder, and commitment that faculty bring to theirprofession.

About the Author:

Linda K. Shadiow is a professor of educational foundations and director of the Faculty Development Program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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