The Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program was a national initiative launched in 1993 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). The initiative aimed to transform how graduate students prepared for academic careers in higher education. Today, these goals are even more urgent as higher education changes radically. PFF programs play a critical role in helping graduate students prepare for productive and balanced faculty lives of ethical and excellent scholarly practice, teaching, and service. For more information about the national PFF initiative, please visit the website.
What is the nature of the world for which we prepare our students? What are our ethical responsibilities in preparing students for this world? We live in a global space rapidly increasing in complexity:
Our goal in the PFF program is to work with you to build a reflective practice that will help you develop these capacities for success even as you learn how to design inclusive learning processes that nurture these capacities in your students.
Connecting Experience to Theory. We begin with you and your experiences to help you surface and examine your perspectives about teaching and learning. This provides a base from which you more effectively affirm, revise, and integrate pedagogical best practices with your own perspectives on teaching and learning.
Active Construction or Sense-Making. While we use mini-lectures to present some material, for the most part we facilitate your engagement in active sense making with your peers so that you leave the workshop with a concrete understanding and ownership of pedagogical principles.
Metaphorical Explorations. We often use images to explore teaching-learning concepts. Metaphors and symbols help us access or illuminate unconscious assumptions, values, and beliefs we have about teaching and learning. They are also a lot of fun!
Principles not Tactics for Generative Teaching (aka teaching you to fish). We work with you to derive pedagogical principles rather than specific strategies or tactics. Teaching is complex; no two teaching situations are the same. Strategies that work brilliantly in one context may fail dismally in another. But, if we understand fundamental principles, we can "read" teaching-learning contexts and determine how best to apply these principles. Working from principles makes us more agile, responsive, and generative as educators.
Reflective Transformative Practice. We ask you to reflect on pedagogical principles and practices to help you shape your identity as an educator. We believe this sets a foundation for developing a rigorous and life-long approach to teaching that is intentional, pedagogically sound, and student-focused. It also helps you develop and write a strong teaching philosophy statement. Why reflective practice works:
There are many terms that have emerged from different disciplines and practices surrounding the value of educational equity in increasingly diverse and complex global contexts. Each term is complicated by multiple interpretations and agendas that have been attached to them. Here, we list and briefly define concepts and principles that inform the PFF program philosophy and approach at CGU
Diversity. The "sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. The dimensions of diversity include race, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class, and immigration status. … While diversity itself is not a value-laden term, the way that people react to diversity is driven by values, attitudes, beliefs, and so on. Full acceptance of diversity is a major principle of social justice."From: Diversity Toolkit Introduction National Education Association
Equity is about fairness and must not be mistaken for equality in the sense of parity. AAC&U (2009) define it as "[t]he creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion". https://www.aacu.org/making-excellence-inclusive. Singleton and Linton (2006) define equity as "raising the achievement of all students while: narrowing the gaps between the highest- and lowest-performing students; and eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories" (p. xvi)
Singleton, G. E. & Curtis, C. (2006). Courageous Conversations about Race. Achieving Equity in Schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Social Justice entails going beyond individual equities to recognize how social histories, processes, and institutional structures systematically create unequitable outcomes. (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2009; Cochran-Smith, 2004). Taking a social justice approach means recognizing this, critically reflecting on our own positions, barriers, and opportunities within social and institutional structures, and taking action to move areas within our control toward more equitable processes and outcomes.
Cochran-Smith, M. (2004). Walking the Toad: Race, Diversity, and Social Justice in Teacher Education. New York: Teachers College Press.
Sensoy, O. & DiAngelo, R. (2009). Developing social justice literacy. An open letter to our faculty colleagues. Phi Delta Kappan, 90(5), 345-352.
Intercultural or global competence is a life-long process of developing and adapting knowledge, attitudes, and skills that support empathy, flexibility, and adaptability when working with diverse cultures and perspectives. It is learning to know, do, and be in a diverse and inter-connected world. This is important not just for developing career skills, but for democracy, peace, and a more inclusive global process. Inter-cultural competence must be intentionally developed, that is, through experiential and critical reflection.
Deardorff, D. (2015). A 21st century imperative: Integrating intercultural competence in Tuning. Tuning Journal for Higher Education, 3(1), 137-147.
Huber, J. & Reynolds, C. (2014). Developing intercultural competence through education. Council of Europe Pestalozzi Series, 3.
Deardorff, D. (Ed.) (2009), The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Ubuntu. From a Zulu concept that a person is a person because of others so that being human is about recognizing the humanity of others. Identity is collective and connective and social action is strongly driven toward cooperation. Therefore, capacities for empathy and compassion are important. (Nwosu, 2009)
Nwosu, P. O. (2009). Understanding Africans' conceptualisations of intercultural competence in D. K. Deardorff (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence. (pp. 158-178). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Universal Design for Learning. UDL is based on neuroscience research that reveals variations in how we sense-make, construct knowledge, and engage in learning. This suggests that curriculum design must avoid a one-size-fits-all or monolithic approach. Instead, we should design flexible curricula by providing multiple means of representation (how we present information), engagement, as well as action and expression to demonstrate learning. UDL principles enable us to reduce learning barriers, increase learning support, while holding high expectations for student achievement.
Meyer, A., Rose, D. H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal Design for Learning. Theory and practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing.
Multiliteracies refers to our ability to create, communicate, and interpret meaning in multiple forms and modalities. Therefore, more than just reading and writing in the standard forms of a language, we must be proficient at sense-making and representing meaning in multiple modalities and forms – text, numbers, different registers and genres of writing and speaking, visual, audio, gestural, physical, movement, sound etc. Multiple literacies also include new or altered literacies from digital information and communications technology that create multi-modal meaning, combining different modalities in new forms such as online forums, social media, blogs, and websites. Our diverse and divergent global context also means that all meaning making and communication is context bound and subjective. Literacy and communication today therefore requires global or inter-cultural competence, primarily the capacity for multiple perspectives as part of the development of multiliteracies.
Cope, B & Kalantzis, M. (Eds.) (2015). A Pedagogy of multiliteracies: Learning by design. London: Palgrave.
Jewitt, C. & Kress, G. (Eds.) (2003). Multimodal literacy. New York: Peter Lang.
Inclusive pedagogy. Diversity and inclusion are related but not the same. Diversity is simply a description of a social context defined by multiplicity. According to AAC&U (2009), inclusion is the "active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions." Inclusive pedagogy based on this concept of inclusion is intentional design and action in our approach to teaching and learning that ensure that ALL students have optimum opportunities to learn and flourish.