Last week in Grad602, my friend and fellow blogger Enoch Hale led the class through an introduction of scholarly teaching. One of the primary pillars (for me at least…I don’t have foundational expertise in SoTL) of scholarly teaching is having the courage and conviction to share your practices openly. To do so invites (requires, actually) that other people whose opinion you care about critique your performance. It’s very similar to peer review, but everyone involved has to have the chutzpah to do it honestly, openly, and explicitly. There’s no blind peer review when you’ve asked a colleague to sit in your class to offer critique of your practices.
What I enjoyed most about Enoch’s class (and there was much to enjoy) was his introduction to the video of the professor who was describing SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning). He asked that the class view the clip through the lens of inspiration. Enoch went on to say there are many ways to view a clip (or read a report or listen to an argument). For example, you can look for the opposing argument. You can look for underlying assumptions or for indications of power hierarchies. But in this case, Enoch wanted us to look for inspiration.
I think the reason this struck such a chord was because I feel Enoch has found another–probably more effective–way to say “look for opportunity in the challenges.” Every idea needs to be looked at critically of course, but every idea should also be looked through…to see if there is any glimpse of opportunity (inspiration) on the other side.
Challenges and opportunities seems to be a growing theme in Grad 602 this year…