CTE staff “retreated” for a couple of days last October, and one of the results was a collaboratively revised Mission Statement:
The Centre for Teaching Excellence provides leadership in advancing skilful , informed, and reflective teaching.
Three teams of staff members then fleshed out what each adjective really means, and we all came together to finalize language that would then go more “public”:
Skilful teaching involves what we as teachers do, say, or make happen in order to improve learning. Skilful teaching can be learned and taught, acquired and honed. A skilful teacher also recognizes when and why to modify an approach.
Informed teaching involved openness toward new ways of approaching teaching, and a willingness to adjust practice based upon what we learn by listening to students and through discussions with colleagues. Informed teaching is scholarly. It draws on current research and contributes to disciplinary practice in higher education.
Reflective teaching is an iterative process that involves developing an awareness of what we do as teachers, why we make the choices we do, and how our choices impact students’ learning. By examining and sharing our successes and challenges with the larger teaching community, we contribute to an ongoing dialogue about teaching and learning, and extend our own learning and development as teachers.
Feedback on our new Mission Statement is welcome — as always, you can use the Comments feature of this blog to comment publicly, or you can send comments and suggestions to our Director, Dr. Catherine Schryer.