Flipping the script: ‘Transformative Conversations’ in higher education

ED_TransformativeConversations_3c_0408
In 2009, the Michigan-based Fetzer Institute invited 26 university professors to their Kalamazoo campus with the lofty hopes of fostering “inter-generational mentoring” amongst college faculty.

After more than three years of discussions — and plenty of cross-disciplinary bonding — the group developed strategies for fostering better relationships, which led to a new guidebook for campuses that want to give it a try: “Transformative Conversations: A Guide to Mentoring Communities in Higher Education.”

The process, “formation mentoring,” is a detailed system that encourages professors to meet in small groups and support each other in becoming better teachers and learners.

“We want to take an interest in the whole person — not just our intellectual life, but our moral life, our emotional life, our spiritual life. All of this is part of who we are, and wouldn’t it be nice if there was a setting where we could bring that to the table?” says Aaron Kheriaty, one of four authors of the guidebook and a professor at University of California, Irvine.

“We’re trying to create a space to talk about our hopes, doubts and mistakes — all the things you usually don’t put out there in a faculty meeting where everyone’s got their peacock feathers flying.”

“Our primary focus is to give people a way to help   make their professional lives better. We hope that by creating these groups, we will have an effect on the institution,” says Kheriaty.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.