In the following series of video clips, Dr. Sylvia Kane shares ways that we can collectively become more culturally-responsive in our teaching.
One way she shares that is so powerful is classroom observation.
There are different types of observation that may be employed. Summative is the type that has historically most often been conducted at Vanguard. When someone is up for promotion or tenure, the person they report to typically sits in one or more of their classes. However, formative evaluation is much needed at Vanguard to develop our teaching excellence.
Sylvia’s Experience Being Evaluated
It can be nerve-wracking to be evaluated, but also quite transformative. Sylvia shares about an experience that really got her thinking about ways to be more inclusive in her teaching.
Technology Tools for Classroom Observation
There are ways to evaluate our teaching without even needing someone else to be involved. Sylvia shares about the Swivl technology that allows a class to be recorded and for faculty to observe their own classes and reflect on their teaching.
A Study in Lesson Planning
The classes we conduct can be quite different than the classes we planned on holding. In this clip, Sylvia discusses a study in lesson planning and how classes can be mapped out when being observed.
There are many different types of observation protocols that can be used to develop our teaching. Some methods involve using tick marks to indicate when the professor is talking and when the students are sharing. Sylvia prefers a method of scripting for telling the teacher, later, what she observed.
A Vision for Vanguard
Sylvia describes the vision she has for Vanguard and how we can grow our teaching excellence through more culturally responsive teaching.
It is essential to have trust in the coaching relationship. While summative evaluation is used for formal performance appraisals, the kind of observation and coaching that the Institute for Faculty Development offers is confidential. Trust gets established so that real change can happen.
One important element of culturally responsive teaching is for learning to be active. For students to have opportunities to demonstrate their learning in the classroom and for the professor to be able to see where there are gaps
Active learning and the coaching process are not the only parts of culturally responsive teaching. A big part is valuing every student in the class, regardless of their ethnicity or cultural background. We all have biases and part of being more inclusive is recognizing that fact and re-examining what a “good student” looks like.
Stories About the Importance of Cultural Relevance
Context is a vital part of our teaching. We can make assumptions about what our students know and what they will relate to in our teaching. Sylvia shares about an experience early in her teaching that had an impact.
The Role of Coaching
Sylvia shares about her experience as an instructional coach. She stresses how growth was possible, because the trust was there and the teacher had the opportunity to make changes and gain practice.