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Faculty mentoring:
A focus on quality teaching

A group of Trent University professors gathered together on Wednesday, April 9, to discuss methods of supporting each other in the classroom, with the aim of delivering the best possible learning experiences to students at Trent.

The theme for the seminar was faculty mentoring. Everyone in attendance seemed to agree that both formal and informal mentoring experiences are beneficial and help faculty obtain a broad spectrum of information about the successful classroom techniques used by colleagues.

Prof. David Poole, Associate Dean of Arts and Science, Teaching & Learning, welcomed all participants and opened up the program. Faculty members who made presentations or facilitated discussion periods included Professors Alan Slavin, Rachel Wortis, Dave Patton, Anne Archer, Elaine Scharfe, John Earshaw, Sarah Keefer, Deborah Parnis, Andrew Vreugdenhil and Ray Dart. Numerous departments were represented by those in attendance, and the issue of cross-department faculty mentoring was explored.

"We all need to keep doing this, exploring our teaching," commented Dr. Deborah Berrill, director of Trent’s School of Education and Professional Learning.

Prof. Deborah Parnis agreed and commented: "We need guidance in teaching, research and institutional issues. We need a variety of resources and people to help us, particularly for new faculty members."

A faculty mentoring committee was formed early in the 2002/03 academic year, and has been working with the Interactive Learning Centre at Trent to propose methods for improved feedback, dialogue and mentoring among members of the University’s teaching staff.

Posted April 11, 2003

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Last updated April 23, 2003