Date of Award

12-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education/Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

John Saltmarsh

Second Advisor

Carol L. Colbeck

Third Advisor

Donna K. Duffy

Abstract

Community colleges are continually faced with questions of how to best meet the learning needs of their diverse students, many of who are "nontraditional" and are often ill-prepared for college level work. These institutions are respected for furthering democracy through their commitment to educational access and criticized for falling short in supporting students' educational attainment. This case study of thirteen community college faculty who participated in a SoTL program sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching explored the extent to which SoTL can support professors' development of knowledge about their practice and their students' learning.

The questions guiding this study were: What knowledge, if any, do faculty members develop about instruction, pedagogy and the goals and purposes of higher education as a result of their SoTL experience? How and why does SoTL influence changes in faculty members' interpretations, assumptions and actions of their teaching and their diverse students' learning, if at all? How do faculty members' perceptions of their environment influence how or why they engage in SoTL? In addition, does teaching developmental courses influence 1) how or why they engage in SoTL, 2) the knowledge developed and 3) changes in interpretations, assumptions and actions?

The conceptual framework for the study was grounded in the theories of sensemaking (Weick, 2001; Weick, Sutcliffe, & Obstfeld, 2005) and transformative learning (Mezirow, 1994; 1997) and utilized Kreber and Cranton's (2000) Scholarship of Teaching (SoT) Model as a framework for understanding the knowledge faculty gained from a SoTL experience.

The findings of the study include 1) a Model of SoTL at the Community College which points to faculty gains in knowledge and changes to their pedagogy; 2) a Rubric of SoTL Rigor which encourages new conceptions of scholarship and 3) a greater understanding of how professors who teach developmental courses perceive their environment and are influenced by a SoTL experience.

Comments

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