Leading Change: Faculty Development through Structured Collaboration

Suzanne Painter, Christopher M Clark
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 187-198
There are relentless calls for innovation in higher education programs in response to media and policy-makers attention to such concerns as instructional quality, relevance to employment, costs, and time-to-degree. At the same time, the individual course remains the primary unit of instruction and there is little evidence of faculty development strategies to assist with changing core instructional practices. We faced that dilemma when we led an innovative doctoral program in educational leadership. Soon after beginning, we implemented a regular meeting of all faculty members teaching and advising in the program to address upcoming events and review student progress. Our retrospective analysis indicates that these meetings evolved as a practical and sustainable framework for faculty development in support of deep change for instructional practices. Here we describe the challenge of faculty development for change and draw lessons learned from our four years of leadership centered on experiential learning and community sense-making. We hope that program leaders who aspire to promote faculty development in conjunction with graduate program implementation will find these lessons useful.
Faculty development, doctoral programs, reform, innovation, leadership
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