Faculty Learning Communities
Intersections of Culture and Learning: Implications for Student Success,
Faculty Growth, and Teaching
Sponsored by the University College and the Faculty Professional Development Program
The purpose of this project is to work toward increasing the retention of
Latino and Native American students through a faculty learning community
focused on faculty development in culture, learning, and teaching.
Through the establishment in April 2012 of a faculty learning community
that initiated its work with a two-day summer retreat on August 9 & 10,
faculty will examine and implement culturally resonant college teaching
They will meet on a regular basis throughout the year, will
design class and methodological reforms based on research and reflection, will
undertake a study of the impact of their reforms on student success, and will
have a 2013 retreat for planning dissemination of their findings.
This project arose in collaboration with professors at the University of New
Mexico (Albuquerque) who have been researching the impact of culturally
resonant university teaching. They are undertaking a similar project so the
work at each institution will influence the other. This project aligns with
each of Northern Arizona University’s strategic values:
- excellence in education
- student success
- educational access
- increasing retention/success rates
This project is complementary to current efforts to redesign large introductory
courses. Through in-depth reflection of a small faculty group and their current
teaching practices, faculty will gain insight into and develop culturally
resonant teaching practices. This
reflection will include:
- an autobiography of underlying cultural traits
- classroom observations
- presentation of study findings as they evolve
- interaction with students
- collaborative exploration
Susan D. Longerbeam, PhD is
associate professor at Northern Arizona University in the Educational
Psychology Department. Longerbeam’s research interests include multiculturalism
and college student success, using quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Selected publications appear in the Journal of College Student Development,
Diversity in Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education.
Linda Shadiow, PhD is
a professor of educational foundations in the College of Education and director
of the Faculty Professional Development Program. She coordinates the Diversity Symposium
Series, designed and taught a course on cultural foundations of education, and
has written about applying culturally responsive teaching. She is currently
completing a book, “What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection
for College Faculty.”
Alicia Fedelina Chávez, PhD is
a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Organizational
Learning at the University of New Mexico. Her scholarship centers on underlying
cultural constructs of collegiate leadership, teaching, and organizational
operations. Publications include "Leading in the Borderlands: Negotiating
Ethnic Patriarchy for the Benefit of Students," "Islands of
Empowerment: Facilitating Multicultural Learning Communities,"
"Spirit of Place: Crafting a College in Northern New Mexico Rhythm,"
and "Toward an Ecology of Multicultural Teaching and Learning."