During last month's American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference, I participated in a really interesting poster session on Triumphs and Tribulations in Teaching, organized by Laurie Kauffman and Jessica Westin. We talked about the possibility of putting all the posters up on the web for wider dissemination following the conference, and I offered my blog as a platform for that.
Following is the abstract for the session, as well as the titles and authors of each poster. Small pics of the posters can be embiggened by clicking on them; the [Abstract] link takes you to the AAPA online abstracts; clicking on names brings you to authors' professional pages; and clicking on the titles gives you a link to the full PDF in Google Drive.
Enjoy! (And if you use these ideas in your own teaching, the various authors would surely appreciate a quick note here or via email, as many of us are putting together teaching portfolios for tenure and promotion purposes.)
A recent survey of the AAPA membership indicates a substantial number of contingent and teaching-focused faculty. Approximately 14% of AAPA members reported their “current primary position” as either “Temporary Position” or “Permanent Position, Teaching Faculty”. According to the American Association of University Professors, more than 50% of faculty hold part-time positions, and more than 76% hold non-tenure track positions. The Higher Education Research Institute has found that 59.1% of faculty spend more than 9 hours per week preparing for teaching undergraduate courses, while a study of Boise State University faculty found professors spent 40% of their working time on teaching-related activities. These data demonstrate the importance of teaching and non-tenure track faculty in today’s higher education landscape. The idea for this symposium grew out of the inaugural meeting of the Anthropologists outside of Anthropology departments, Contingent, and Teaching-focused faculty (AACT) Task Force, under the umbrella of the Committee on Diversity, which occurred at the 2014 meetings in Calgary. In this symposium, we provide a space for physical anthropologists to share a particular, broadly-defined teaching challenge or success. Additionally, we want to increase opportunities at the annual meetings for physical anthropologists to engage with others regarding their teaching, to share best-practices and solutions to teaching-related problems, and to gain teaching tools to help better serve students in whatever discipline we may teach. Symposium topics include the use of technology in the classroom, active and hands-on learning techniques, teaching through field courses, and overall measures of student success.