Tusculum College School of Business Professor Dr. Michelle Freeman was recently notified that she will be published in a national publication. Freeman is an associate professor of business administration at the college.
The article, “Teaching Circles: A Low-Cost, High-Benefit Way to Engage Faculty,” will appear the February edition of “The Teaching Professor.” This is the second time Freeman has been selected for publication in the journal.
The article details Freeman’s work over the past three years directing The Teaching and Learning Initiative at Tusculum College. The program has become more commonly known as Teaching Circles.
Freeman, who directs the program, works with four to six faculty members at the beginning of each academic year to select topics and relevant reading materials for groups that will be available to all faculty to become a part of for the year.
“The goal of these circles is enjoyable scholarly exchange between peers,” wrote Freeman. “Sometimes the focus is on pedagogy; other times it is a topic simply for knowledge expansion.”
The costs of implementing such a program are minimal, according to Freeman, who reports that the main investments are associated with books and materials, as well as a closing banquet and one dinner per group.
According to Freeman, the initiative has generated a number of benefits, including providing in-house faculty development, serving as a community builder across disciplines and serving as a way to ease new faculty into the college community.
In addition, the program has assisted other college programs, including the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which is a campus wide effort to implement the skills of critical thinking with reflective judgment into a cross section of campus curriculum, as well was in other key areas of the college. The program also provides peer incentives among professors to continue to improve.
“As faculty members learn together, they are challenged to make changes in their classrooms. Faculty participation in these circles offers evidence of ongoing interest in scholarship,” said Freeman.
“The Teaching Professor” is a targeted professional publication that focuses on educational teaching methods.