What Faculty Do Matters

At the end of an exhausting academic year, it is good to stop and celebrate the importance of our work. In 10 Reasons Higher Education is One of the Most Challenging Careers, Terry Doyle does so by discussing the challenges faculty overcome to do their jobs well. In the article, he outlines 10 reasons why college teaching is one of the most challenging jobs in the world and one of the most important:

  1. Faculty Teach More than Content.
  2. All Learning is Interconnected.
  3. Faculty Have Little Control Over Many Aspects that Impact Learning.
  4. Faculty Cannot “Make” Students Learn.
  5. Time to Teach is Limited.
  6. Learning is a Social-Emotional Experience.
  7. Teachers Teach the Whole Person, Not a Subject Area.
  8. Diverse Learners.
  9. Technology as a Tool for Learning or a Distraction from Learning.
  10. Preconceived Expectations of Learning.

Doyle concludes that college teachers are “miracle workers” that are integral to every occupation and profession. He ends the article with an encouraging affirmation for faculty. “Although it is easy to focus on fatigue and negative aspects of being a college faculty member,” Doyle said, “create time to realize you do what few in our society can do, and it makes all the difference.

Terry Doyle is an author, educational consultant and  professor emeritus of reading at Ferris State University where he worked for 38 years. His work focuses on ways to assist higher education faculty in becoming learner centered teachers and how faculty can apply  new findings from neuroscience, biology and cognitive science in their teaching to improve students’ learning.

Interested in learning more about the scholarship of teaching and learning or accessing more of these resources? Belmont and Bunch Library offer the SoTL Resources at Bunch Library that provides information on SoTL professional organizations, research journals, conferences, etc.

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