Most Reflections seminars are team-taught. Students enroll for two courses that teachers design as an integrated seminar. While the competencies for each course are evaluated separately, the classes are designed by the teachers to be closely linked. This allows students to draw connections between different disciplinary perspectives and gain deeper insights into course material.
Successful team-teaching requires collaboration before, during, and after the seminar has been completed. Teachers work carefully to ensure that their course outlines are complementary. They must communicate regularly with one another throughout the semester and show willingness to make changes when appropriate. It is not unusual for Reflections teachers to sit in on one another’s part of the course to help make intellectual connections between the two sections and to generate a sense of community for the students. At the end of the semester, teachers are encouraged to evaluate the seminar with one another and students to discuss possible improvements.
Reflections is a learning community of teachers and students. Students who elect to enroll in Reflections mention the communal atmosphere, the increased focus on discussion, and the access they have to instructors as key factors in their interest and success in the area of study. The sense of community fostered by Reflections encourages students to contribute, engage, and excel in the seminars. Teachers have a key role to play in strengthening the Reflections learning community. They are expected to aid in the coordination of Reflections by attending area of study meetings at least once a semester; to present courses at information sessions; and to assist with recruitment at open houses. Reflections teachers are also encouraged to establish meaningful pedagogical relationships with their students. This may mean holding some office hours in the Reflections room; developing team projects where they meet with students in small groups; or staying after class to continue discussing course material one-on-one.
Reflections seminars are based on the idea that significant works in literature, philosophy, social sciences, and the arts should have meaningful connections to students’ everyday lives and concerns. This being the case, teachers are encouraged to develop assignments that not only promote close readings of texts, but also require students to reflect carefully on their own experiences within contemporary society. To establish these kinds of connections, Reflections teachers are also encouraged to invite guest speakers, hold some course meetings off campus (museums, academic conferences, and architectural tours), or develop assignments with a public component such as works of art, videos, or websites.
How to Apply?
Faculty members interested in teaching in Reflections should send a letter of interest to their Department Chairperson and the Reflections coordinator. Please outline why you think you would be a good fit for Reflections, perhaps sharing teaching approaches, pedagogical goals and potential contributions to the community. For any questions or concerns, please contact your Department Chairperson or the Reflections coordinator, Michael Duckett, at firstname.lastname@example.org.