If there is one American organization associated with the best practices in faculty development, it is the POD Network (POD stands for Professional and Organizational Development). It is entirely appropriate, then, that the volume under review has been assembled under the auspices of POD and that the editor and the contributors are all members of it. Editor Kay Herr Gillespie is a recent president. Thus a reader ought to expect that A Guide To Faculty Development will be a valuable resource, and it is.
A list of some of the contents will show the diverse readerships which it serves.
Administrators will learn valuable lessons from "Ten Principles of Good Practice in Creating and Sustaining Teaching and Learning Centers" and "Program Types and Prototypes," both part of the first section on "Setting Up a Faculty Development Program."
Those who are likely to be put in charge of such a center will benefit the most, perhaps, from the whole of this book. They need to know not only these chapters but also the later, more practical guides written from long experience: "If I knew Then What I Know Now: A First-Year Faculty Consultant's Top Ten"; "Promoting Your Professional Development Program"; "Staging Successful Workshops"; "Ideas for Campus Newsletters"; and "Increase Your Effectiveness in the Organization: Work With Department Chairs" all have useful advice for the new "developer," as does "Reaching the Unreachable: Improving the Teaching of Poor Teachers," though this one fails to deliver the long-hoped-for secret of this most difficult task for the teaching center.
There is a section on faculty development committees; there is a section on diversity; and there is a section on assessment.
And, while the average faculty member is probably not going to read this book (even though any faculty member will profit from it), I recommend to any teacher the chapters on "Classroom Observation: The Observer as Collaborator" and "A Helpful Handout: Establishing and Maintaining a Positive Classroom Climate."
Though every chapter has practical application, there are also checklists and handouts printed throughout. A two-page "Workshop Checklist"-including everything from "Identify major current issues on campus: to "Leave the facility in order" can help avert many embarrassing mistakes, and make workshops successful and meaningful. Linda Hilsen's "Establishing and Maintaining a Positive Classroom Climate" includes a six-page handout covering matters like instructor availability, how to signal to students that the class is over, feedback, eye contact, and much more. A copy of this handout would be a good addition to any new instructor goodie bag. The chapters on teaching diverse student populations, especially Christine Imbra and Helen Rallis's "What We Value, We Talk About: Including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People," have useful surveys, glossaries, and lists of reference.
This book itself maintains a positive climate. The air throughout is of concern, willingness to share, and user-friendliness, much as it is at the annual POD conference, which (in my experience) is characterized by egalitarian interaction and determination to be helpful. A Guide to Faculty Development is POD between hard covers.* It should be in every teaching center library, every college and university library, and probably the office of every academic dean. (UNC's Effective Teaching web site, January 2002) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.