Disciplines as Frameworks for Student Learning
Teaching the Practice of the Disciplines

Paper: 978 1 57922 123 2
Price: $24.95  
Published: December 2004  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
160 pp., 6" x 9"
* What should students be able to do and how should they be able to think as a result of study in a discipline?
* What does learning in the disciplines look like at different developmental levels?
* How does one go about designing such learning and assessment in the disciplines?
* What institutional structures and processes can assist faculty to engage and teach their disciplines as frameworks for student learning?

Creating ways to make a discipline come alive for those who are not experts–even for students who may not take more than one or two courses in the disciplines they study–requires rigorous thought about what really matters in a field and how to engage students in the practice of it.

Faculty from Alverno College representing a range of liberal arts disciplines–chemistry, economics, history, literature, mathematics and philosophy–here reflect on what it has meant for them to approach their disciplines as frameworks for student learning. They present the intellectual biographies of their explorations, the insights they have gained and examples of the practices they have adopted.

The authors all demonstrate how the ways of thinking they have identified as significant for their students in their respective disciplines have affected the way they design learning experiences and assessments. They show how they have shaped their teaching around the ways of thinking they want their students to develop within and across their disciplines; and what that means in terms of designing assessments that require students to demonstrate their thinking and understanding through application and use.

This book will appeal to faculty interested in going beyond mere techniques to a more substantive analysis of how their view of their respective disciplines might change when seen through the lens of student learning. It will also serve the needs of graduate students; trainers of Tas; and anyone engaged in faculty development or interested in the scholarship of teaching.

Table of Contents:
Introduction--Tim Riordan; PART ONE: LEARNING IN “IRRELEVANT” DISCIPLINES: Common Ground: How History Professors and Undergraduate Students Learn through History--James Roth; Learning to Think Mathematically--Susan Pustejovsky; PART TWO: BRINGING OUTSIDERS INSIDE THE DISCIPLINES: Teaching Students to Practice Philosophy--Donna Engelmann; Making Economics Matter to Students--Zohreh Emami; PART THREE: TEACHING THE COGNITIVE PROCESSES OF THE DISCIPLINES: Reading and Responding to Literature: Developing Critical Perspectives--Lucy Cromwell; Articulating the Cognitive Processes at the Heart of Chemistry--Ann van Heerden; PART FOUR: THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Because Hester Prynne Was an Existentialist, or Why Using Disciplines as Frameworks for Learning Clarifies Life--Rebecca Valentine

The Contributors: Lucy Cromwell is Professor of English at Alverno College; Zohreh Emami is Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Alverno College; Donna Engelmann is Professor of Philosophy at Alverno College; Ann van Heerden is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Alverno College; Susan Pustejovsky is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Alverno College; Tim Riordan is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Alverno College; James Roth is Professor of History at Alverno College; Rebecca Valentine is professional writer in Windsor, CO.


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Reviews & Endorsements:
"[T]hese authors grapple with how to make the ways of thinking that characterize their disciplines alive and applicable to students. In the process, they offer us a wealth of insight and suggestions...Faculty chairs, curriculum revision committees, department discussion groups, and individual faculty members who want to improve their teaching will all benefit from this book."
- Teaching Theology and Religion
"A holistic approach to higher education, where assessment, learning activities and disciplinary content are inseparable."
- National Teaching and Learning Forum