So, now you’ve bought into the idea that faculty development is the shortest route to increasing the extent of educational outcomes achievement. How then may you best go about the business of faculty development? In this post, I submit the most effective manner of faculty development is coaching.
Prefer coaching over training
You might be tempted to conclude that faculty development amounts to compiling and monitoring a list of areas in which faculty members should receive additional training. But I believe coaching is a more apt and productive modality. The two concepts differ in terms of both ends and means.
Training has as its primary object meeting the needs and advancing the purposes of the institution. Coaching, on the other hand, has as its primary object the needs of the individual. Faculty development must never be isolated from or subordinated to personal development. The training question is, what can my/our investment allow this faculty member to contribute to the goals, priorities, and reputation of this institution? The question for the coach is, by contrast, what can my investment allow this colleague to become?
If this feels like a disconnect from my previous reasoning about faculty development and its benefit to the institution, stay with me.
Prefer becoming over contributing
I hope you readily recognize that training and coaching are complimentary, not contradictory, terms. The manner—or, if you prefer, posture—you employ in faculty development either contributes to or competes with the results you seek. In fact, I would venture that when you set out to foster faculty members’ development through coaching, you get most of the benefits of training in the bargain. Conversely, when you limit your vision and purpose to institution-focused training, you may diminish both the appeal and effectiveness of your faculty development efforts.
From drag to draft
Want to accelerate the effectiveness of your faculty? Approach it with a coaching mindset and watch development move from a drag to a draft.
In my next post, we’ll take a look at a couple key means of faculty development propulsion. Let’s keep the conversation going.
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