EdTech Units, CTLs and the Postsecondary Subordination Narrative

Possible countervailing campus forces?

March 15, 2016

"I am haunted by the phrase “subordinate learner” because the idea of subordination seems to be such a pervasive force in higher ed."

"For pre-tenure, as well as non-tenure track faculty, subordination is the coin of the realm, though it comes in different denominations."

John Warner -  Higher Education? More Like Subordination (3/14/16)

Are Educational Technology (EdTech) groups and Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs) countervailing forces to the postsecondary subordination narrative described by John Warner?

I’d say so. You?

EdTech professionals are learning nerds. They love any educator who is interested in making changes to improve learning.

Visit an edtech group and your faculty rank, status, and position will not matter.

The instructional designers and educational technologists and media educators will want to understand your teaching and learning goals. They will work to find methods and interventions (that are sometimes have tech component, sometimes not), that will help you achieve your teaching objectives.

Centers for Teaching and Learning are another place on campus that can run counter to the dominant academic caste system.

CTLs offer workshops, training, and consultations that are open to all educators on campus.

Come to a CTL workshop and leave your rank at the door.  The salient variables are not tenure-status, but curiosity and a willingness to share about teaching - learn about learning.

Many CTLs (including the one that I work for) offer programs and community for future faculty (postdocs and grad students) who are interested in learning about teaching and learning.

These CTL communities treat future faculty with the same respect and collegiality that is extended to the tenured.

Are EdTech groups and CTLs counterweights to modes of academic subordination and the existing status hierarchies on your campus?

Do Academic Libraries play a similar role of cultural equalizer played by EdTech units and CTLs?

How might the culture of academe shift when CTL and EdTech people move into strategic leadership roles?



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