Paul McPherron

I loved serving as a Faculty Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. It was an excellent opportunity to meet and work with faculty, staff, and administrators from across Hunter. In addition to serving on the ACERT Steering Committee, my main responsibilities involved organizing and leading three Lunchtime Seminars and one Teaching Scholarship Circle. The first Lunchtime Seminar was entitled, “Multilingual Students in University Classrooms.” In this seminar, presenters offered examples for how they have drawn on the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of their students in their teaching. In the second Lunchtime Seminar, “Effective Use of Discussion in the Physical and Online Classroom,” faculty from various disciplines discussed what has worked (and what has not) in building effective classroom discussions both in the physical and online classroom. Finally, the last Lunchtime Seminar I organized was called “Creative approaches to the syllabus: Moving beyond the transactional in course design.” In this seminar, we discussed ways in which instructors could use the class syllabus to provide more than just basic course information but tell the narrative of learning in a course and generate course topics from student interests outside the classroom walls. Based on the interest and discussion generated from the first Lunchtime seminar, I led a Teaching Scholarship Circle in June 2017 that further explored ways in which instructors can move beyond a deficit view of English learners in our classrooms toward a multilingual approach to university pedagogy.

Participating in the planning and production of ACERT events as a Fellow has been one of the best experiences for me as a faculty member at Hunter, and I am excited to continue working with ACERT in the next years as ACERT Director.

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