"Academic culture is a curious and conflicted thing. On the one hand, it holds out the allure and occasionally the reality of being a 'community of scholars.' On the other hand, it is a culture infamous for fragmentation, isolation, and competitive individualism--a culture in which community sometimes feels harder to come by than in any other institution on the face of the earth"
--Parker Palmer in Creating Campus Community, 2002.
No matter how long you’ve taught, there is always something you can learn from your colleagues. But if, as Parker Palmer laments in the quote above, you generally prepare and teach your classes in isolation, you may wish you had more opportunities to have the kinds of conversations that would enrich your teaching practice, help you improve student engagement, and deepen your sense of belonging to a community of scholars. Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) at UMBC fill this niche: An FLC is a cross-disciplinary group of 6-12 faculty who meet regularly throughout an academic year in a casual atmosphere to investigate a teaching-related topic of mutual interest.
The Faculty Development Center is currently seeking proposals for new FLC topics. Funding is available to support 3-4 new FLCs in 2019-20. Any UMBC faculty or staff member with an interest in investigating a particular need, issue, or opportunity related to teaching and learning may propose a topic for a year-long FLC that they would like to participate in with colleagues. Proposals should describe the importance of the topic in 1-2 paragraphs in order to entice other UMBC faculty/staff to join the FLC. Approved topics will be announced in late April.
The deadline for topic proposals is April 1, 2019. Please forward your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some current and recent FLCs have devoted their attention to topics such as:
- Writing questions to foster deep learning and engagement
- Cultivating critical thinking: Integrating information literacy into course content
- Flipping the classroom
- Getting students to READ: Scaffolding students’ Reading, Engagement, Analysis, and Discovery through texts
- Improving student writing: Exploring evidence-based feedback methods
- Teaching sustainability & climate change
- Incorporating student technology into the classroom
For further information about Faculty Learning Communities at
UMBC, please consult the FLC page on
the Faculty Development Center's website. If you would like to discuss your
idea in more detail, please contact us at email@example.com.