The UCIS Cluster for Leadership in Education is an informal aggregation of faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who are committed to the idea that prospective faculty should learn something about the research literature about learning before they leave the University of Rochester to start teaching. The activities are designed to offer new ideas about how students learn and, simultaneously, a support group for those who are eager to learn about the teaching components to their careers. The Cluster is reconstituted each year by word-of-mouth among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from across the University. The regularly participating faculty and staff come from the College, Warner School, and School of Medicine and Dentistry; others are welcome of course.
Leadership in Education programs usually fit into one of the following three categories:
- Lunchtime seminars that focus on modern ideas about the ways that students learn (e.g., constructivism, motivation, metacognition, student-centered teaching, etc)
- Cooperation with departments to invite outside speakers to give colloquia on their discipline-based education research. These speakers also meet at lunchtime with students and faculty for informal discussions of their work.
- Cooperation with the Center for Workshop Education and the Associate Dean for Faculty Development--Medical Education to organize a University-wide "Sharing of Innovations in Education" for faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents. The first programs were presented in 2008 and 2009 for approximately 70 participants. In 2009, speakers from the SMD and Eastman School of Music faculty gave brief presentations about their experiences with UR and Carnegie fellowships for faculty development and set the stage for broader discussions of the topic with the audience. We intend to continue this program on an annual basis.