The 15-member VTLC Advisory Committee and the VTLC Director wrote this statement in response to requests that emerged in the end-of-the-year survey and the Department Chairs' Retreat feedback. (See the VTLC Annual Report 2011, "Selected Results: Areas for Reconsideration, Growth, and Improvement," page 6.)
As VTLC programs explicitly “emphasize teaching excellence including the development, use, and assessment of effective teaching methods” and “foster scholarly activity that supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin Colleges” (Select Mission and Goals of the UWC), faculty and instructional staff who participate in VTLC activities are encouraged to include this work as professional development of teaching in their Activity Reports and retention materials.
The notion of “professional development” should not be restricted to funding to attend professional meetings, research grants, and sabbaticals. Such a definition too narrowly defines our professional identities and too narrowly allocates resources for our professional work. Lee S. Shulman’s exploration of the term “professor” is helpful here, not as it indicates one’s rank but instead one’s work. He notes the contemporary meaning is
As professors and professional educators, we UWC faculty and teaching staff should continue to develop our understanding of teaching and its relationship to learning, and to add evidence-based methods to our repertoire. Such active, critical, and scholarly reflection is a cornerstone of effective teaching.
Documenting Professional Development
When documenting PD work in the context of the VTLC, we should consider our activities in the context of the VTLC’s mission and goals. Such documentation can include the ways in which VTLC activities have
Sources“Faculty Development Definitions” Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education: What Is Faculty Development? POD, 2007, Web. 11 Dec. 2011.
“Select Mission and Goals of the University of Wisconsin Colleges.” University of Wisconsin Colleges: Administration. UW Colleges. n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2011.
Shulman, Lee S. "Taking Learning Seriously," Change 31.4 (July/August 1999): 10-17. Print.