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Welcome to “At the Center”

Welcome to the CTL’s new blog, At the Center, and to the new school year. This blog, like the CTL web site, is a place where faculty members, graduate students, and staff educators share ideas about teaching.

In 1983, there were hardly any places on an R1 campus to talk about teaching. That’s the year I left graduate school for my first job with a nickel’s worth of advice about teaching in my back pocket. “If anyone asks you how your teaching is going,” said someone on my committee, “tell them ‘fine,’ even if students are coming to your class carrying torches. Say anything else, and your senior colleagues will think of you as the new girl who is having trouble with her teaching.”

Fortunately, the culture of teaching in higher education has changed. We are no longer advised to lie, whisper, or wear black anonymizing rectangles over our eyes to talk about teaching at an R1. Conversations blossom or erupt online, in the hallway, even in faculty meetings. And a robust and variegated literature on teaching and learning informs our work, whether directly or indirectly.

In this blog we’ll wander the disciplinary and interdisciplinary landscape, small seminars and huge courses, lab sections and community projects and global learning communities, graduate as well as undergraduate teaching, experiments and fiascos. Expect to see posts from UW faculty members, graduate students, staff educators, and invited guests from other universities. ​

What these posts have in common: a commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning, to innovation, and to best practice. Our back pockets are now stuffed with great posts from UW colleagues. I hope you’ll submit a post, comment on someone else’s, or brainstorm with us. That’s what we do–online, in our face-to-face learning communities, and other programs. Welcome back.

— Beth Kalikoff, Director

If you are interested in submitting a post to our blog please visit the CTL Blog webpage