CRLT Blog

Biostatics and epidemiology faculty working together to train graduate students in statistics. Musical Theater faculty studying the Estill Voice Training system in order to integrate the methods into their department’s curriculum. Law professors from different fields co-teaching legal writing to upper-level law students. Engineering and Technical Communications faculty collaborating to develop teaching modules that will advance student writing skills in a range of technical genres.

CRLT: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching LogoWhat do these projects all have in common? They’ve all just been awarded funds through the first stage of the Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching. Folow this link for the full list of awardees—eight faculty teams representing more than a dozen departments—and details about their projects. 

Established in 1995, the Whitaker Fund grants support collaborative groups of faculty pursuing projects aimed to develop and deepen their commitment to excellent teaching and learning. The $10,000 grants support a wide range of teaching initiatives. You can learn more about the grants here.

Have you ever had to refute that negative stereotype of university professors as poor teachers who only care about their research? A new book by Catharine Hoffman Beyer and her colleagues at the University of Washington provides research to back up what many of us already know from experience: most professors care deeply about teaching and continuously work hard on improving it. You can learn more about Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience (SUNY Press) from this Inside Higher Ed article

And for some remarkable examples of University of Michigan professors who are innovative and passionate about undergraduate teaching, see our Friday Profiles series. Or look around: they're all over campus. 

CRLT is now accepting applications for the May 2013 Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Seminar. See this page for full information about the program and application requirements. This will be the fourteenth year of this Rackham-CRLT program devoted to preparing advanced graduate students for faculty positions.

Graduate students often ask, "If I attended the fall PFF Conference, is it worth my while to apply for the Round table discussionSeminar, too?" The answer is, yes! Unlike the fall conference, the May PFF Seminar primarily focuses on teaching. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with faculty members about their teaching, learn about integrating a range of pedagogical techniques and technologies, participate in conversations about multicultural teaching and learning, and prepare a teaching philosophy statement and course syllabus. Because of its extended focus on teaching, the five-week Seminar entirely fulfills requirement "B" for the Rackham-CRLT Graduate Teacher Certificate

Recent participants have praised the seminar for supporting their professional development as both scholars and teachers.  One writes, "I had a wonderful experience in PFF. It got me inspired and excited about a career in academia. Actually, I credit it with lighting a fire under me to finish my dissertation, as I realized what I really wanted was to be a faculty member, not a student! Well, it has worked, and I will be defending my dissertation in July."
Poster fair

Another credits the seminar for helping her win a national award for teaching and learning: "I think a major reason why I won it was that PFF gave me the tools to write about my teaching with greater sophistication and purpose. Thank you for putting together such an amazing program!"

 

Getting ready to meet your Winter Term classes? As you gear up for a new semester, it's a great time to make sure you're keeping a broad range of students in mind. CRLT provides many resources to help you effectively teach diverse students, no matter what your area of specialization. One of our "Preparing to Teach" resources, this page on Creating Inclusive Classrooms offers concrete guidance on several aspects of inclusive teaching, including:

students on a snowy campus

  • course content
  • classroom dynamics
  • instructor assumptions

For additional resources to support your teaching of U-M's diverse student body, you can visit our Multicultural Teaching page or click on the "Multicultural Teaching" link at the bottom of any CRLT page. The printed version of our GSI Guidebook--distributed to everyone who attends one of our GSI Teaching Orientations and available to U-M instructors upon request--also contains helpful guidance on these issues, including the chapter "Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom" from Barbara Gross Davis's book Tools for Teaching. More general resources to help you finalize your Winter Term plans can be found on our Preparing to Teach page (under the "Resources and Publications" menu above).