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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.45 - Building a community of practice for teaching-track faculty

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Teaching is a creative process that often occurs in isolation, in the context of one’s own classes. People whose careers are centred squarely on teaching (e.g., sessional instructors, tenure-track teaching faculty) may risk isolation. To address this issue, the University of British Columbia Instructor Network was formed in 2009 to cultivate professional development and collegiality among teaching-track faculty at the University of British Columbia (see The University of British Columbia, 2014). The Instructor Network is exclusive to tenure-track teaching faculty, providing identity and connection to faculty in this relatively rare and sometimes misunderstood position. In 2009, we struck a Steering Committee for the Instructor Network. In its first year, the Steering Committee created a comprehensive cross-faculty listserv and website. Since then, the Steering Committee has organized an annual series of events for Network members. Given increased recognition and influence of the Network, the Steering Committee recently organized a “re-visioning session” to obtain feedback from Network members regarding the goals and future of the Instructor Network. We will begin this Roundtable Discussion by briefly sharing the current mandate and structure of the Instructor Network and the results of the re-visioning session. Following from the interests of the group, the ensuing conversation may focus on the importance of community among teaching-track faculty, and/or the challenges and opportunities associated with establishing a grass-roots community of practice (Wenger, 1998). Participants in this Roundtable Discussion will leave with ideas and strategies to develop a community of teaching practitioners at their own institutions.

The University of British Columbia. (2014). Guide to Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Procedures at University of British Columbia 2014/2015. Vancouver, B.C.: The University of British Columbia. 

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Mackenzie Room

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