Teaching Roundtables

Each semester the Dean of the Faculty will appoint up to twelve faculty members to participate in this program. Organized into self-governed and complementary groups of four, their only responsibilities will be to meet for lunchtime discussions at least six times during the semester and to organize a round-robin schedule of class visits.

The intent of this program is promote the exchange of ideas about effective teaching in a social and explicitly non-evaluative setting. This is not about critiquing classroom performance. Rather, the roundtable groups are meant to discuss and develop pedagogy, and to observe and learn from different styles of teaching. Ideally, participation in the program will foster a spirit of collaboration and collegiality among faculty members that lasts beyond the funding period.

Eligibility. All faculty not on leave are eligible to participate. It is possible to participate more than once, but not in the same semester and not with the same set of colleagues. In any event preference will be given to those who have never before participated. Groups of size more or less than four can apply but require strong rationale and are normally considered only after groups of four have been approved.

Application Procedure. Self-formed groups of four faculty colleagues should submit their names, a list of the courses they will teach, and a short, one paragraph description of the rationale for the group composition to the Dean of the Faculty.

Guidelines. Groups of four can be formed within or between departments, programs, or divisions. The groups can also be formed within or between faculty ranks. However, senior faculty members should not apply to join roundtable groups with junior colleagues who they will be in a position to evaluate for reappointment or tenure. We do not expect groups to form around shared expertise; however, the constitution of each group should be conducive to informed dialogue about pedagogy. [NEW in 2017-2018: With the launch of our Design Thinking Pilot, we especially invite groups interested in learning more about and incorporating design thinking into their pedagogies.]

Deadline. The application deadlines are June 29 for participation during the fall semester and January 5 for participation during the spring semester.

Reporting. Each group is asked to submit a short report describing the process and schedule of their lunches and class visits, and reflecting on the value of the experience. These reports should be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty within one month of the end of the semester.

Incentive. All participants will receive a $500 research grant or salary stipend, plus six free lunches to be taken at the Faculty Club or a similarly priced restaurant.