Volume 3

Introduction To The Third Volume

We are honored to serve as co-editors of this, the Third Volume of Issues in Teaching and Learning, Rhode Island College's electronic journal dedicated to creating and deepening dialog about the educational process.

It is fitting that this volume of the journal developed its own theme of inclusive teaching. We say this because the explorations of inclusive teaching contained in this volume came entirely from the authors , rather than the editors or editorial board. Our call for papers and subsequent call for a dialog on indoctrination resulted in submissions examining how pedagogy can encourage or restrict student participation.

Carol Shelton, a member of the editorial board and coordinator of the College's first faculty seminar on inclusive teaching, sets the stage with an essay about the NECIT (New England Center for Inclusive Teaching) program at RIC. Her historic review and introduction to the fundamental concepts underlying inclusive teaching help the reader strengthen her or his understanding of this movement in higher education.

Karen Paley's ethnography takes us through the journeys experienced by three RIC professors, as they struggled to find pedagogical styles that maximize students' involvement and interaction with course content. The three professors teach in different disciplines but faced similar challenges as they worked to develop effective teaching styles. For all three, the journeys continue but some lessons have been learned. A striking commonality is that the three professors came to appreciate and incorporate in their teaching students' strengths which are traditionally checked at the classroom door.

Dan Weisman facilitated and edited a dialog on indoctrination, currently consisting of two essays but additional submissions are invited. Two events prompted the public discussion: a student raised concerns that required social work courses demanded ideological conformity; a bill was introduced in the R.I. legislature, as well as in 20 other states and the U.S. Congress, that could require legislative oversight of governance roles traditionally performed by faculty. The latter, the so-called "Student Bill of Rights," has benefited from some students' perceptions that there is an unwritten reward structure associated with liberal political views. The two essays, by faculty members Timothy Chambers and Joseph Zornado, begin what we hope will be an ongoing exploration of this topic.

Inclusive teaching is a timely topic, and we are proud that the authors chose this journal as the platform for a beginning foray into its meanings and applications. We look forward to a continued lively exploration of topics related to teaching and learning as we turn our attention to the Fourth Volume, scheduled for publication in the spring, 2006 semester. Submissions may be emailed to either co-editor: Mark Motte (mmotte@ric.edu)or Dan Weisman (dweisman@ric.edu).

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Page last updated: Mar. 15, 2006