Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

Shaping A Personal Agenda For Leadership

February 7, 2005

The PKAL Volume IV postings on January 24, 2005 and February 7, 2005 explore shaping a personal agenda for leadership, one that reflects personal strengths and interest and is timely in the context of one's career stage, institutional culture, and other commitments.

For undergraduate STEM faculty, considering responsibilities in classrooms and labs and determining how to balance competing demands is a key to shaping a personal agenda. This requires practice in reflecting on one's experiences and in using those reflections to set new goals and priorities for a scholarly career– determining what works, what matters, and what lasts from his or her personal perspective.

The major paper for this week's posting is Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, by Brian P. Coppola, University of Michigan, in which he argues that, Writing a statement of teaching philosophy is a cornerstone of reflective and scholarly practice in teaching and learning. He presents: A strategic set of practical and philosophical guidelines, including a definition, elements, and structure of a statement of teaching philosophy... for experienced and novice educators to craft such a statement.

Comments from two other members of the PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century, Stacey Lowery Bretz and Adam R. Urbach, accompany the essay by Coppola, who is also a PKAL F21 member.

Finally, advice to faculty at an early career stage has been distilled from interviews with NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholars, based on their reflections on what has worked for them in shaping a leadership career.

Note: Here is another reference to add to Brian Coppola's advice on writing teaching philosophy statements:

    Handbook on Teaching Undergraduate Science Courses: A Survival Training Manual, by Gordon E. Uno