2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


MCMANUS, Dean A., School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Box 357940, Seattle, WA 98195-7940, mcmanus@ocean.washington.edu

Faculty members, particularly at research universities, may be curious about alternative teaching tools and yet be unwilling to try them. Part of our responsibility as leaders in changing the way faculty teach is to gently challenge their excuses for resisting change and help prepare them for the change. The most common excuse given is a lack of time, but people find the time to do what they deem important. Therefore let us help these faculty members discover why they do not assign importance to changing the way they teach. In the process we are likely to unearth underlying excuses until a basic anxiety is revealed. Then we can begin to help them.

We can better prepare them to make the change if we help them to understand certain aspects about learning to use an alternative teaching tool. It will require of them a form of learning that they may not have used for some time -- learning as a novice. It is learning a workplace skill outside the context of their science. It is admitting that teaching is a skill to be learned and that good teaching can be identified. It is reflecting on their teaching in the light of teaching as an enhancement of student learning. And in the end, it will enable them to apply to the classroom the same skills honed in their research: creativity, adaptability, and flexibility, and to experience a similar "joy of discovery" in their teaching.