Title III Engaging Students Capstone
"Beyond the Fear Factor" with Professor Rebecca D. Cox
a Faculty and Staff Development Workshop
Friday, September 20, 2013, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lane Downtown Campus
This workshop focused on understanding and reducing gaps between faculty expectations of students and students' actual performances, specifically looking at the negative effects of students' fears and misconceptions about "college." Professor Rebecca D. Cox, author of The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another (Harvard University Press), facilitated the workshop.
The workshop began with an exploration of the instructional difficulties that arise when students' fears and misconceptions about "college" result in counterproductive (and sometimes mysterious) classroom behavior. Using examples from her research inside college classrooms, Professor Cox highlighted the interplay among students' preconceptions about "college" teaching, appropriate college student behavior, and their own fears that they will prove inadequate as college students. Participants then had the opportunity to discuss practical strategies for identifying and alleviating students' fears. Finally, a structured, hands-on session was devoted to developing instructional activities or amending existing curricular resources. The goal was for all participants to leave the session with concrete examples of strategies that are appropriate for their students and applicable to their specific disciplinary (or departmental) affiliation.
This was a great opportunity to work individually and collaboratively on your reflective teaching practice. Faculty will be paid curriculum development hours if this day was not part of their regular contracted workday.
Read an interview with Professor Cox:
Rebecca (Becky) Cox received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and an A.B. from Princeton University. Her research interests revolve around issues of equity and postsecondary opportunity. Her book, The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another (Harvard University Press) presents the results of classroom-level research at community colleges within the context of organizational structures and norms of higher education. She is currently a member of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia). Prior faculty positions have included high school, community college and graduate-level experiences; prior research affiliations include the Community College Research Center, (Teachers College, Columbia University) and at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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