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Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning

Werder, Carmen

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ISBN 10: 1579224202 / ISBN 13: 9781579224202
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Engaging Student Voices in the Study of ...

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: PAP

Book Condition:New

About this title


This book addresses the all-important dimensions of collaboration in the study of learning raised by such questions as: Should teachers engage students directly in discussions and inquiry about learning? To what extent? What is gained by the collaboration? Does it improve learning, and what do shared responsibilities mean for classroom dynamics, and beyond?

Practicing what it advocates, a faculty-student team co-edited this book, and faculty-student (or former student) teams co-authored eight of its eleven chapters.

The opening section of this book explores such dimensions of student voices in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) as power and authority in the classroom, collaborative meaning-making, and the role of students as both learners and experts on their own learning. It opens up the process of knowledge-building to a wider group of participants, and expands our conception of who has expertise to contribute – for instance recognizing students’ “insider” knowledge of themselves as learners.

Using various institutional models to illustrate these foundational concepts, part one provides a context for understanding the detailed examples that follow. The case studies in the second half of the volume illustrate how these concepts play out inside and outside the classroom when students shift from serving as research subjects in a SoTL study to working as independent researchers or as partners with faculty in such work as studying curricular design/redesign, readings, requirements, and assessment. This co-inquiry brings the principles and benefits of the broader undergraduate research movement to the topic of teaching and learning. It also increases student researchers’ sense of themselves as independent learners.

While recognizing the impossibility of engaging every student in the scholarship of teaching and learning in every course, the editors and contributors make the case for making such opportunities available as broadly as possible because, as this volume also makes clear, this is transformational work – with the potential to produce paradigm shifts, turning points, new insights, and changes in classroom culture – for both faculty and students.

The contributors demonstrate how they validated student voices in theory, method, and methodology across a wide variety of disciplines and while engaging with different pedagogies. Disciplinary examples include: anthropology, communication, chemistry, criminal science, education, English, geography, history, human services, mathematics, psychology, sociology, theater arts, philosophy, and political science.

About the Author:

Carmen Werder directs the Teaching-Learning Academy at Western Washington University, where she also teaches rhetoric and directs Writing Instruction Support. As a Carnegie Scholar, she initiated an ongoing study of the use of personal metaphors in developing a sense of agency. She has headed up both CASTL initiatives on working with students as co-inquirers in the scholarship of teaching and learning: the Sustaining Student Voices cluster (2003-06) and the current Institutional Leadership Program Student Voices themed group (2006-09).

Megan M. Otis is a graduate student in anthropology at Western Washington University. She has been an active participant in WWU’s SoTL initiative, the Teaching-Learning Academy (as both an undergraduate and graduate student), and has been deeply involved in the CASTL Student Voices group.

Pat Hutchings is vice president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She has written widely on assessment, peer collaboration and review of teaching, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Recent publications include Ethics of Inquiry: Issues in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2002), Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2000) and, with Mary Taylor Huber, The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons (2005).

Mary Taylor Huber is a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. A cultural anthropologist, she has written widely about cultures of teaching in higher education, including recent publications on Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching (2002), Balancing Acts: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers (2004), and, with Pat Hutchings, The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons (2005).

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