Artze-Vega, Isis, et al. “Privileging Pedagogy: Composition, Rhetoric, and Faculty Development.” College Composition and Communication 65:1 (September 2013): 162-184.
This article, written by seven scholars who work in the “border” between comp/rhet and faculty development, demonstrates the connections between comp/rhet scholarship and faculty development work and argues for more collaboration between these two fields. The authors define faculty development as a “transdisciplinary site,” (166) list the ways comp/rhet theory and work prepares scholars for faculty development work, explain how faculty development research has informed their own teaching and scholarship, and argue for greater emphasis on faculty development theory and training in comp/rhet graduate programs. Their article includes an annotated bibliography for faculty development scholarship.
The essay makes a case for the political importance of comp/rhet scholars taking on faculty development roles: these administrative positions give comp/rhet scholars the opportunity to affect change on the institution and influence higher education in directions that could privilege teaching and learning.
How comp/rhet scholarship and training prepares people to take on faculty development positions:
- “established focus on pedagogy and the trend toward preparation for administrative duties” (166)
- valuing of teaching and learning
- insights into how students learn that can be applied across contexts and disciplines
- good writers/rhetoricians, can prepare professional reports, materials, etc
- understand that all learning, writing is rhetorically situated
- interest in how people learn
- WPA work is oriented to teaching/educating, not just managing
- work often with instructional technology and digital media
- familiar with networking through WAC, WID, writing centers
How faculty development scholarship can impact writing education
- research on student motivation
- research on student development, especially young adult/adult education
- research on the impact of the holistic student experience on student performance in individual courses
how a faculty developer can be an “intellectual bureaucrat” (Richard E. Miller, 1998) – make change at higher institutional levels (171), opportunity to be a campus leader.
Problems with the faculty developer position – sometimes seen as an inferior scholar, funding issues (necessary to build strong relationships and connections across campus) (176-177)
Possibilities for graduate education: courses dedicated to faculty development, include faculty development as a possible career path and area of scholarly inquiry, internships in CTL (centers for teaching and learning) or other faculty development positions (training TAs, WAC and WID work, etc.)
“Success in faculty development begins with admitting that we have more questions than answers and with accepting the challenge of continually revising our teaching and reassessing our learning” (177).
“These courses [in composition theory and pedagogy], we feel, could benefit from a closer alignment with insights developed in the field of faculty development: principles of learning from a general perspective, explicit discussion of institutional politics beyond the writing program, inclusion of models for leading and adapting to change within institutions, and broad exploration of curriculum design and assessment. Such training will prepare students to be effective participants in a wide range of institutional and department cultures as well as potentially providing them with access to an alternative (and greatly satisfying) career path” (176).
“Both groups [faculty developers and comp/rhet scholars] believe that continued professional learning is a desirable professional norm” (174).
“We [WPAs} know that teaching and learning are not the same thing, and this insight is central to faculty development work” (168).
“In order to be effective, professional development needs to be sustained not only over the course of a year but over the course of a career” (168).