posted on July 23, 2013 08:43
Book by C. William McKee, Mitzy Johnson, William Ritchie & Mark Tew
Review by Michelle M. White
Department of Academic & Student Development
Today, faculty development constitutes a strategic lever for institutional quality and an important tool for fostering institutional readiness and change in response to the demands facing higher education. Clearly no one model for faculty development will be appropriate for all institutions. The book editors recognize the complex nature of faculty development and assert that the field is poised to take a significant step forward. When properly designed and implemented faculty development is a process that will move higher education from where it is to where it is capable of being.
As the title suggests, the overarching theme of the book is to provide resources that higher education practitioners can use to improve their institutions and the education services they render. Each chapter has been selected to identify particular areas of opportunities for institutions. The reader will learn the definition of faculty development as an intentional set of education activities designed to equip faculty to grow in their professionalism. A compliment to this definition is the significant result of being partners in advancing the whole institution. The reader will also begin the journey of knowing, understanding and using faculty development as an education enhancement tool. Selected research from the past is described that will position higher education to support professional development of the faculty in days ahead. The authors detail innovations in faculty development that are appearing on the horizon in the context of changes and challenges confronting higher education institutions. Means and methods to achieve improved faculty development are also examined. The history and rationale for the teaching and learning center (TLC) as a means of achieving lasting professional development of the faculty are addressed as well as creating a campus-wide environment that promotes and achieves faculty development.
The contributors acknowledge that new directions in faculty development will focus on the methods and philosophy of how faculty learning initiatives are conducted. These new directions in faculty development must be supported through a new fundamental values system. Frameworks are examined for faculty development in the future—what it is, why it is important, who are the key players, what future developments to expect and how to chart a course for that future. Institutions often promote status quo through extrinsic rewards which reinforces faculty to maintain a developmental model rather than a model for change. Instead, institutions must become self-reflective and engage in analysis and evaluations of their core values and mission in order for their members to change and grow. The collective mantra is that professional development of the faculty should be everyone’s day job.
The editors conclude that the future of faculty development will call for more emphasis in the field of organization development and change. Faculty development will become more professionalized as a field and gaining more respect and credibility as a discipline of study. Enhancing the future of this discipline will require new thinking about ideal structures for faculty development and ways of operating organizationally. Faculty development has become more centralized with the creation of more campus-wide centers.
The components of the book are well written and carefully edited. The book is an excellent, concise resource and full of timely information for understanding the latest developments in the field. I recommend the book to advisers who partner with teaching and learning centers on faculty advising development.
The Breadth of Current Faculty Development: Practitioners’ Perspectives: Teaching and Learning #133 (2013). Book by C. William McKee, Mitzy Johnson, William Ritchie & Mark Tew (eds.), Review by Michelle M. White. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 112 pp., $29.00, (paperback), ISBN # 978-1-1186-4154-5