Assistant Research Professor Regina Logan will open her Annenberg Hall classroom to fellow educators on Monday, Feb. 13 as part of a University-wide program aimed at promoting best practices and innovation in teaching through a wide-ranging exchange of ideas.
Developed by the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, the Faculty Open Classroom Initiative (FOCI) takes place from Feb. 13 to 17. The program is designed to extend the culture of collaboration on research to also include teaching.
“It’s a great way to open up a partnership with faculty to create a new culture around teaching and learning,” said Searle Center director Bennett Goldberg, who holds joint appointments as assistant provost for learning and teaching and professor of physics and astronomy. Goldberg also co-teaches a course in the Higher Education Administration and Policy Program in the School of Education and Social Policy.
"Our goal is to bring teaching into the same realm of innovation and inquiry as scholarship,” he said.
Logan, director of the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood, will be teaching “Career Development: Theory and Counseling,” an undergraduate course in human development and psychological services. She’ll discuss career theorists, including Linda Gottfredson, who writes about how people limit their career goals beginning in childhood, based especially on opportunity structures and socialization, emphasizing the role of race, class and gender.
“I have the students complete a genogram which can be a springboard for a deep discussion of social identities, opportunity structures and privilege, and how they relate to career aspirations,” Logan said.
The formal concept of opening classes, which originated at Yale University, has spread to several top universities. Goldberg previously launched a similar program at Boston University, where he served as director of STEM education initiatives before joining Northwestern’s Searle Center in August 2016.
Any faculty member who applies to host open classroom discussions will be accepted. The number of visitors who can observe a given class will be determined by the instructor.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in fall 2017, the Searle Center is an established leader in developing innovative teaching practices and faculty support. Under Goldberg’s leadership, the Center aims to become more integrated into the University fabric, collaborating with all faculty and departments.
“Enhancing education by building excitement about teaching and learning among faculty and students is central to the Center’s ambitions,” Goldberg said.