Home » Faculty to Share Pedagogy and Best Practices at Symposium on Field Study

Faculty to Share Pedagogy and Best Practices at Symposium on Field Study

Faculty to Share Pedagogy and Best Practices at Symposium on Field Study February 24, 2015

Field study for college students can take many forms — from a quick visit by an art history class to a nearby museum to a weekend geology excursion examining desert rock formations to a group of students conducting interviews for a public health research project.

Symposium on Field Study

July 8-11, 2015

Colorado College

Call for Proposals for faculty presentations

Deadline (extended): March 27

Funded by the ACM FaCE program.

The Symposium on Field Study: Establishing and Sharing Best-Practices at the Intersection of Place, Pedagogy, Innovation, and Technology will gather faculty from across the ACM at Colorado College this summer on July 8-11 to explore teaching and learning through field studies at liberal arts colleges. The program is sponsored by the college’s Office of Field Study and supported by a grant from the ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) program.

The symposium will focus on the components that make field trips effective, powerful, efficient, and safe, according to Drew Cavin, Director of Field Study at Colorado College. “There are a lot of different ways to do a field trip, a lot of different modes,” he said. “What it is that makes field trips so powerful? What are the different modes in which we can do them well?”

Participants will give presentations on wide-ranging aspects of field study, engage in roundtable and panel discussions, and go on a half-day field trip. The program’s organizers will prepare the symposium proceedings to share the content of the presentations with the ACM colleges and the wider higher education community.

Faculty interested in presenting and participating in the Symposium on Field Study must respond to the Call for Proposals by submitting a brief abstract of a presentation addressing any of the following aspects of field study:

  • Pedagogy in the field;
  • Technology and the modern student, connecting away from campus;
  • Field study and “student development” outcomes, holistic growth, sense of place, social and emotional learning, and community engagement;
  • Risk management, mental health, and safety;
  • Assessment and evaluation of field study courses; and
  • Other innovative ways to teach students off campus.

The deadline (extended) for proposals is March 27. Faculty selected to present at the symposium will be invited to follow up with a detailed presentation proposal due in mid-April.

Colorado College field study

Photo courtesy of Colorado College

Funds from the FaCE grant will cover travel, lodging, and meal costs for presenters, as well as a $500 stipend for submitting an article based on the presentation for publication in the symposium proceedings.

Cavin noted that Colorado College’s block plan, in which students take one class for three and a half weeks in each of eight blocks during an academic year, is tailor-made for field study, and faculty at the college have taken advantage of the flexibility it offers.

“A lot of amazing experiences for students have evolved in some courses,” he said, “and I know that there are a lot of other institutions, in the ACM and other top level liberal arts colleges, that are pushing into these different ways of teaching that are much more immersive, more experiential, more rooted in place.”

“I think this symposium could emerge into a much larger working group of faculty that hones in on this kind of education,” said Cavin. “If you’re doing field trips away from campus that fit into educational objectives, we want to hear about it and advance the conversation about it.”

The Symposium on Field Study is one of six collaborative faculty projects that recently received FaCE grants. The current six-year phase of the program, which is supported by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has two funding cycles each academic year.

The RFP for the spring 2015 cycle of FaCE grants has been issued, with a deadline of April 15 for faculty and staff at ACM colleges to submit proposals.


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