Moments of Difficulty: Two Teachers’ Insights

November 14, 2008

Adapted from Beverly DiSalvo and Shirley Kahlert (Merced College), “An Integrated Model: A Cluster of Pedagogies.” We gain understanding by asking students what they are thinking It is impossible to predict what a student might be thinking or how someone might be working to understand a concept. We have learned to watch for “moments of […]

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The Power of Collaboration: Three Faculty, Common Process

November 14, 2008

From Lydia Alvarez, Suzanne Crawford, and Lynn Serwin, “The Solution: The Power of the Pursuit” Most instructors want to make changes to their classses in order to see their students improve, but many do not know what to do to guarantee that they succeed. We too had this dilemma. We often wondered if the changes […]

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Understanding Student Reading Habits through a Student Reading Survey

November 14, 2008

From David Reynolds (West Hills): “Helping Students Read Difficult Text” ASSESSMENT of READING – Before helping my students read difficult text, I first had to know what, how and when they read. There are many Reading Inventories available and I chose to give my students the WestEd Reading Apprenticeship Student Reading Survey. I needed to […]

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The Case for Common Examinations

November 14, 2008

A Carnegie Perspectives repost Lloyd Bond, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching The notion that all students who take the same course at a given college should take common examinations has been around for a long time. But programs that regularly employ common examinations are still rare, primarily because they require a […]

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The Before and After Reading Tool

November 14, 2008

From Lydia Alvarez, Cerritos College: “The Power of the Pursuit” The Before and After is a reflective tool I have designed based on a handout I have been creating for my students since the beginning of my teaching career. I have always created handouts called “Celebrating Revision” where I have copied short excerpts from student […]

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Measuring Student Perceptions of Confidence

November 14, 2008

From Pat Wagener, Can Problem Solving Become a Habit of Mind? Pat says: Students’ own perceptions of their math skills and abilities are often considered as anecdotal evidence, rather than factual information that has been quantified. In a meeting at the start of the Fall 2006 semester, this subject came up, and it occurred to […]

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Think Alouds in an English Course

November 14, 2008

A focus on students and their learning is central to the faculty inquiry process. Consider Katalina Wethington, who participated in a scholarship of teaching and learning seminar at Los Medanos College in fall 2006. Wethington was puzzled by a problem in a developmental English course one level below freshman English. In Wethington’s case, the problem […]

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Three Models for Faculty Inquiry Groups

November 14, 2008

SPECC campuses explored many models for bringing people together in faculty inquiry groups, which varied depending on the circumstances of the college, the history of faculty collaboration in developmental education, the creativity of the coordinators, and the purpose at hand. Some groups emphasized individual projects; others focused on a theme of common concern. Some involved […]

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FIGs: The Importance of Collaboration

November 14, 2008

Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs) treat professional development as a collaborative enterprise. One of the most persistent impediments to educational improvement is that teachers have-because institutions provide-so few purposeful, constructive occasions for sharing what they know and do with one another. Thus, one of the most important moves a campus can make is to create occasions […]

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Common Exams as Prompts for Improvement

November 14, 2008

Glendale Community College’s mathematics program, in 2000, instituted a common final examination for all sections of pre-collegiate algebra. The department produces tabularized information after each examination in order to show, among other things, the dropout rate and mean GPA for each class, as well as the performance of each class (properly coded to ensure anonymity) […]

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