Working as partners, faculty, staff, and students gain access to one another’s educational experiences and perspectives, at once complicating and clarifying their vision of education and each other.
Through developing partnerships that cross traditional boundaries of role and responsibility, Bryn Mawr College faculty, staff, and students transform both education and themselves.
Sustained partnerships and regular reflection inspire in faculty, staff, and students a deeper awareness of and engagement in their own — and others’ — education.
Breaking out of separate and mutually exclusive roles, faculty, staff, and students assume responsibility as both learners and teachers.
The Teaching and Learning Initiative is comprised of a number of programs connected by their focus on collaborative approaches to student/teacher relationships. Many of the programs also look to expand the opportunities for learning on Bryn Mawr’s campus beyond the classroom and to build community through fostering faculty, staff, and student collaborations in various experiences of and dialogues about teaching and learning. There are structured programs in which students take the instructor role and teach staff, others where staff share their knowledge with students, a program featuring the exchange of skills among campus community members, and more.
Among the Initiative’s signature programs is The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute, where Bryn Mawr’s faculty and students have been at the forefront of bringing student-voice research and practice into secondary-teacher preparation and college-faculty development in the Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT) program.
Professor of Education Alison Cook-Sather is the coordinator of The Teaching and Learning Initiative and a leading researcher in the field of student-voice research and practice.
“While ‘student voice’ takes many forms, the underlying premise is that students have crucial perspectives and an important role to play in conceptualizing and analyzing educational opportunities,” says Cook-Sather. “Rather than assume faculty can know ahead of time what facilitates learning in a given context and what makes learning meaningful and lasting for students, student-voice work invites students into dialogue about these questions.”
“Voice is a metaphor for active student participation in the development and the study of approaches to teaching, learning, and education more generally. Through this area of research and practice, Bryn Mawr students become consultants and partners, working together with teachers and scholars to make education a mutually engaging process.”
For a complete list of TLI programs, to learn how to participate in the TLI as a member of the Bryn Mawr community, to find resources for scholars interested in research or starting similar programs on their own campus, and more, follow the links on this page.
"The TLI provides a remarkable opportunity for faculty, staff, and students. The positive impact of this work is clear both in the classrooms of the participants and in the community as a whole."
—Kim Cassidy, President
"Participants feel good about what they are doing, and I think that kind of positive mindset allows them to learn more and learn better.
—Jerry Berenson, Chief Administrative Officer
TLI journal — Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education
Alison Cook-Sather part of Plenary Address at ISSOTL conference
Alison Cook-Sather connects with colleagues doing student voice work around the globe.
Alison Cook-Sather named Jean Rudduck Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do, is the first Fellow of The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute.
A Bryn Mawr Now article about both of the above.
A profile of Ken appears in the February 27, 2011 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education: