Rodin statue

Teaching made new

Since 2011, the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) has fostered interdisciplinarity by developing university courses that bring together faculty from at least three schools as well as undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to explore a major societal issue. Among the 12 courses offered to date, topics have included meth abuse, urbanization and inequities, healthcare in the modern era, the Ferguson Movement, and this semester, discourses of disaster and emotional evidence.

In early March, the CFDE hosted a vibrant discussion with faculty who have taught in these university courses and those who teach interdisciplinary courses to share lessons learned. The session launched a four-part series on innovative pedagogy that will run throughout the semester.

"Faculty participating in these courses learn to teach in new and different ways that will infuse their future teaching and scholarship," says CFDE Director Pamela Scully. "This series highlights and reflects on the challenges and rewards of innovative pedagogies."

On March 28, CFDE and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship will host the second event in the series, Connect with Teaching, in which faculty will discuss how they have used particular technologies in their teaching. And using pre-texts for learning and teaching is the subject of the upcoming April 1 session. CFDE Director of Engaged Learning Vialla Hartfield-Méndez has collaborated with the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard for the past year to bring this pedagogical tool to Emory. Using a primary text to generate artistic and reflective work from participants, this approach trains the trainers with an emphasis on understanding others' points of view and fostering better and more nuanced understanding of complex, primary texts.

The Innovative Pedagogies series will conclude on April 14, when faculty and students will discuss what they've learned through the first four Coalition of the Liberal Arts (CoLA) courses for undergraduates. These university courses are intended to create flexible faculty and student-learning communities across schools and inspire new forms of scholarly inquiry, says CoLA chair Robyn Fivush. They've taken on climate change, ethical issues around eating, and disability and resilience. "In Here You're a Number" is giving students a first-hand look at the complex issues surrounding female incarceration at Lee Arrendale State prison.