Professional Responsibilities | Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies Handbook | Kent State University

Professional Responsibilities

School faculty must comply with the University Policy Register, applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, and the College Handbook.  In addition, the School identifies the following roles and responsibilities of School Faculty:

Teaching: Teaching well, that is, providing the diversity of students who choose to become educators and related professionals with current knowledge opportunities for critical-reflective thinking, and professional experiences, is the core around which the work of the faculty in the School develops. The work of teaching involves, among other things, an understanding of how humans grow and learn, theories of development, how change takes place and is facilitated, the selective nature of school knowledge, and the purposes and values of schooling and related areas of practice. Teaching incorporates the most current thinking in the field; indeed, teaching must take into account what faculty members want students to do. Students need to be prepared to work in different types of school, college and non-school environments, in settings that are as richly diverse as, or perhaps even more diverse than, classrooms in the School.  Moreover, preparation of teachers, school leaders, and scholars must be grounded in the need to help others make connections, continue learning, and seek to improve their own professional practice. Providing students and the faculty with the knowledge of how best to learn, including the tools to do so, as well as the understanding of optimum learning conditions for doing so, will make this more likely for students, faculty, and for those with whom they work. The faculty recognizes that teaching is scholarly practice.

Learning: The goals of the School faculty are to help students become lifelong learners and to understand how to help others learn. Student learning is at the center of the framework for professional education. Teacher candidates emerge from their programs of study as quality professional educators grounded in the following values and behaviors: understanding how students learn, as well as how to facilitate inquiry-based learning, problem solving, and authentic assessment. Further, students and graduates strive to create learning environments that help students build on prior knowledge and to use technology in an ethical, critical, and creative manner as a means to acquire, provide, organize, and communicate knowledge.

Curriculum Development: Teaching, leadership, inquiry, and research are embedded within the School’s many sub-disciplines. To organize these activities into a meaningful experience for students, faculty must develop curriculum that is substantial, consequential, and imaginative. Faculty members in the School focus on this perspective. Faculty are not simply concerned with writing out notes that can be shared with students; instead, they attempt to create experiences for students that will provide opportunities for truly significant learning and that will encourage a passionate approach to their professional endeavors. Faculty informally (and sometimes formally) study (and discuss) curriculum development and practice in order to do this in the best ways possible, informed by the most recent thinking in curriculum studies and in the curriculum fields of specializations within the School. Faculty members seek an integration of theory and practice, so that thinking about curriculum informs practice, and vice versa. Faculty members engage in continuous development, analysis, articulation, evaluation, and re-construction for this explicit purpose.

Advising:  Faculty members recognize the vital importance of advising students and strive to meet this responsibility in a variety of ways. While this can be done in group advising meetings, conversations on the telephone, and exchanges via email or web chat groups, faculty members are also expected to set aside several hours each week for office hours that can be used for in-person advising of current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty members recognize the fundamental importance of such advising in the educational and professional careers of students. Such efforts may include but are not limited to: discussing a student’s work in a class or in a field setting; offering specific help on a paper, project, thesis or dissertation; providing information about career options; advising potential applicants of graduate programs; assessing application materials and interviewing applicants for programs; evaluating coursework and advising students seeking alternative routes to licensure; determining field placements and following up when problems occur; and so forth.

School Faculty members believe that advising is a key responsibility. Undergraduate and graduate students are urged to meet with their faculty advisor at least once each year. In the unusual circumstance that a substantial number of students are assigned to a faculty member for advising, the Director, with the approval of the Dean, may assign workload equivalent for these duties.