“helping colleges and universities function effectively as teaching and learning communities” (Felten, Kalish, Pingree, & Plank, 2007, p. 93)
actions “aimed at enhancing teaching” (Amundsen & Wilson, 2012, p. 90)
a “key lever for ensuring institutional quality and supporting institutional change” (Sorcinelli, Austin, Eddy & Beach, 2005, p. xi).Educational Leadership training china
What all of these definitions have in common is the enhancement of the work of colleges and universities, often with a focus on teaching and learning. The POD Network prefers the term “educational development” (instead of, for example, “faculty development”) because, according to Past President Deandra Little (2014), it better “encompasses the breadth of work we do,” including levels (individual, program, and institutional) and key audiences (graduate students, faculty, postdoctoral scholars, administrators, organizations) served.
“Educational development” is the most inclusive term for POD Network members’ work, which encompasses a number of subfields, described below:
Faculty/Graduate Student/Postdoc Development
Faculty, graduate student, and postdoctoral scholar development refers to those programs which focus on the individual instructor or future faculty member. Specialists in this area provide consultation on teaching, including class organization, evaluation of students, in-class teaching methods, active learning strategies, emerging teaching and learning technologies, and all aspects of design and presentation. They also advise instructors on other aspects of teacher/student interaction, such as advising, tutoring, discipline policies and administration.
An additional frequent focus of such programs is the instructor as a scholar and professional. These programs offer assistance in career planning, professional development in scholarly skills such as grant writing, publishing, committee work, administrative work, supervisory skills, and a wide range of other activities expected of faculty. For graduate and professional students, these programs might take the shape of Preparing Future Faculty or Preparing Future Professionals, designed to prepare them for future career directions.
A third area on which these programs focus is the instructor as a person. This focus includes wellness management, interpersonal skills, stress and time management, assertiveness development and a host of other programs that address the individual’s well-being.
While not all faculty and graduate student/postdoc development programs include all these areas, most take a holistic view of faculty work, with the philosophy that assisting individual instructors in being as productive and effective as possible will strengthen the entire institution.