Part III: Evidence for Meeting Each Standard

Standard Five: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development

Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development. Evidence will be provided in this section that supports the statement that Pacific University meets this standard.

Element Two: Modeling Best Professional Practices in Teaching

To say that the faculty members in the College of Education are dedicated to Promoting Cultural Competence, Creating Student-Centered Classrooms, and Enhancing Learning through Technology is to mirror the reality of our teaching. In order to support this statement with evidence, data from a recent faculty survey revealed the voices of faculty members, particularly in terms of cultural competence.

“We discuss at length how to teach about controversial issues, and where to find appropriate resources that address diversity issues. Some examples of specific curriculum include: racial and ethnic diversity in schools today and in history, Japanese Internment during WWII, civil rights history, new insights about Columbus, current issues pertaining to civil rights, immigration, world events, etc.”

“I ask students to do service learning projects. I wrote a federal grant that supports student work in classrooms containing primarily Hispanic students. I am going to start a special Spanish class for teachers. I could do more; I am still learning.”

“Cultural incompetence, insensitivity to diversity and blatant disregard to human dignity by individuals and institutions have contributed to my cultural competence. My life has evolved within the turmoil of cultural conflict, bias, prejudice and discrimination and the insidiousness of oppression resulting thereof. Surviving these encounters, tolerating the anguish, enduring the pain and reflecting on the individual and institution have helped me move from a survival mode to becoming a facilitator of instruction in cultural competence.”

“Within the context of the course goals, I seek to engage students to develop their own objectives based on previous knowledge, experience and the career path they are pursuing. Using thematic instructional strategies focused on the course objectives, I use multiple activities: readings, small group and class discussion, web-based research and experiential processes to maximize learning. I engage with students outside of class and after a term is over to gain insights to improve my classes.”

“Students use WebCT-Blackboard to post their written work, collaborate online and access resources…. This past term in my course, we explored the theme of Web 2.0 technologies. For this I set up a class wiki and blog for us to explore the potential of these technologies for teaching. This was as much a learning experience for me as it was for my students and I look forward to more exploration in the future in this course.”

“Students are asked to use word processing and web-based resources to create instructional materials. They also use computer-based data collection tools in activities that measure motion, temperature, and sound. They use hand-held computers to create quizzes and other interactive teaching tools that could be used with secondary students.”

“Literature searches including references I have identified are available electronically. Class assignments are turned in electronically and at least one formal class presentation is required to be made using Power Point or a related presentation tool. We devote time in class to review the sources to be used and students are encouraged to contribute. When in need for support when I encounter problems with technology I readily ask for help from students.”

In addition, faculty strive to increase their knowledge and skills in order to provide student-centered inclusive teaching, a variety of instructional strategies, and teaching with technology to enhance learning. The following table compiles results from the 49 full- and part-time faculty who responded to the survey.

Table 5.2.1
Conceptual Framework Themes Reflected Throughout Instruction

College of Education Conceptual Framework Themes
(Survey of 29 Full- and Part-time Faculty)
Number Reported
Promoting Cultural Competence
 
What opportunities do you offer your students to grow in cultural competence?
  
Select readings; multi-cultural literature discussions; book club
School- and site-based visits; community service requirement
Model reflective practice
Bring guest speakers to class
Assessing current events
Stressing Learning Community themes: diversity, equity, privilege
Integrate culture and diversity in all the courses I teach
Model my eagerness for collaboration, inclusion, equity
Prepare students to teach for needs of all learners
Have candidates reflect on their own culture
Have candidates share their cultural experiences from their school placements
11
17
9
9
6
5
14
10
18
6
9
What life experiences have contributed to your own growth in cultural competence?
Lived and traveled extensively in multiple regions of the U.S.
Lived and traveled extensively internationally
Taught in public schools with a variety of cultures, SES levels, etc.
Studied in diverse settings (colleges, workshops, professional dev., etc.)
Attended many courses, workshops or presentations on cultural comp.
Read and studied issues of diversity extensively
Collaborated on writing/presenting issues of diversity
Have representations of diversity within my family and friends.
13
16
14
13
11
16
9
17
Creating Student-Centered Classrooms
What student-centered techniques do you employ in your teaching?
Cooperative group strategies on authentic tasks
Inquiry and discovery learning activities
Formative assessment of each individual
Multiple means of assessment/feedback (portfolio, peer evaluation, etc.)
Modeling specific teaching strategies for candidates
Service Learning and Problem-Based Learning
Presentations to class; Microteaching
Active participation in small- and large-group discussions
Offer menu of assignments for candidate choice
Shared decision-making
Active candidate participation in class activities; few or no lectures
26
8
6
17
6
8
16
19
11
4
9
Enhancing Learning Through Technology
What technology tools do you use to prepare and teach your courses?
Word Processing
PowerPoint or other presentation tools
Web Research
Databases
Spreadsheets
Other (Web CT, Blackboard, digital audio feedback, Smartboards, laboratory probeware, student response system, digital storyboarding, graphing calculators, etc.)

49
35
41
21
17
57

How do candidates use technology tools to enhance their learning in your course?
Make PowerPoint and SmartBoard presentations
Preparing documents (reflective journals, papers, article reviews, etc.)
Use spreadsheets and data bases (to track resources, students progress)
Internet research (for papers, simulations, lesson plan ideas, etc.)
Use WebCT/Blackboard for posting work and interaction with professor/class
Prepare digital movies (such as integrative iMovies)
Publish own websites
Use graphing calculators
Use tools on course website
Prepare Webquests, brochures, and artistic works
Experience adaptive technology
Google Earth, Inspiration, Geometer’s Sketchpad and other software
Communicate with colleagues/professor via email
Other: (Blogs, submitting assignments/tests, video themselves teaching, etc.)
26
29
6
35
9
5
5
3
11
6
3
10
24
23

COE faculty members implement a wide variety of strategies to encourage the development of critical thinking, problem solving, reflection and professional dispositions. The chart below provides a sample of responses to the survey question “How do you teach critical thinking?” Many faculty members routinely require reflective writing, and in fact a major component of the work sample requires both refection on daily lessons as well as on the entire instructional unit. Professional dispositions are perhaps best taught through modeling; faculty members demonstrate these skills through team teaching, collaboration, and mutual respect.

Table 5.2.2
Faculty Responses to ‘How do you teach critical thinking?
(Full- and Part-time Faculty)

‘How do you teach critical thinking?’
Number Reported
by 49 faculty
Facilitate discriminating discussions on controversial topics & current events
14
Use open-ended questioning strategies (e.g. “What if . . . ?”)
14
Reflective writing and journaling
12
Have students read a variety of sources on an issue; Book Clubs
8
Analyze and critique teaching methods from various perspectives, viewpoints
8
Have candidates prepare lessons at all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy
8
Promote metacognition through self-evaluation and analysis of own learning
7
Model problem-solving strategies in instructional planning for candidates
6
Critically analyze learning objectives when planning lessons
5
Ask students to justify two opposing viewpoints
5

Students evaluate courses and faculty every semester in all courses. The University Handbook states that a preponderance of positive course evaluations is one characteristic of excellent teaching. Since faculty use student comments to continually improve their teaching, this process has been substantially improved through the move to an on-line course evaluation system that provides faculty with immediate feedback. All faculty members prepare portfolios for annual evaluation by the Dean and the Personnel Committee based on the criteria established by the College of Education. As a component of developing their annual report, each faculty member prepares a self-assessment and reflection on their teaching, service and scholarly activities. Though not yet adopted, the COE representatives to the University Personnel Committee have influenced a possible revision to the university standards for teaching that includes evidence of student learning as one of the substantial ways for faculty members to present their excellence as teachers.