CTL Learning Communities

In fall 2018, the Consortium for Teaching & Learning formed five Learning Communities that will span and connect colleagues from many (hopefully all) our GLCA campuses. “As liberal arts colleges,” we noted at the time, we share a number of characteristics that allow for similar practices and approaches, as well as a broadly shared set of values and goals. On the other hand, campus culture varies widely from one campus to the next, and these differences undoubtedly shape both how we frame many issues and the institutional frameworks through which we work. This combination of similarities and differences, we believe, will provide a rich environment for discussion and reflection.”

These five learning communities began their work in October 2018. We will use this “tab” on the website to list the resources they are consulting, share their queries and findings, and communicate with the larger community. Our intention is to use these beginning LC’s to encourage the development of Learning Communities, on these topics or others, to bloom on our member campuses.  The CTL is here to help that process.

The five CTL sponsored Learning Communities are divided into three general headings (Campus, Community, Nation). Each is chaired by two CTL members.

On our Campuses:

(1) CHANGES IN FACULTY ROLES AND IN TEACHING:  Considering changes in faculty roles and pedagogical practices that are made necessary by demographic changes in the country, the evolving job market, technological developments (including the dominant role of social media), and an increasingly fractured/tribal political and cultural environment;

(2) INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING:  Reflecting on how to fashion practices of inclusive excellence and culturally relevant curriculum in order to support all our students; and

(3) EVIDENCE-BASED TEACHING AND EVALUATION:  Developing methods of promoting evidence-based practices in teaching and assessment.

Within our Local Communities, particularly given our location in four “rust-belt” states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana):

(4) COMMUNITY ENGAGED TEACHING AND LEARNING:  Using high-impact, research-based pedagogical practices to encourage local liberal arts colleges to engage more productively and sustainably with the communities in which they are situated; working toward deeper understandings of our local community on the part of students and faculty; helping students negotiate their residence in communities with which, for the most part, they are unfamiliar; and promoting interaction in a manner that responds to community interests and priorities while helping students develop thoughtful and reflective forms of civic engagement.

At a National Level:

(5) THE VALUE OF A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION:  Joining and engaging the conversation on the value of a liberal arts education to students and society.  Addressing the importance of higher education in general, and a liberal education in particular, and   encouraging pedagogical approaches based on participation, engagement, respect, community, and critical evaluation as a method of preparing graduates for their post-graduate as individuals and citizens.  Through these means, helping to the future of our democracy and the health of our planet.

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