Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 15, 1996.


To discover who innovative teachers are, their practices, and how they might have impact on the improvement of teaching on campus, the authors surveyed 310 faculty on our campus, including recipients of Distinguished Teaching Awards, non-recipients of awards, and newer faculty. Items included sources of ideas, teaching strategies, relating to students, and persistence in making successful changes in teaching. A focus group was selected from those displaying persistence. We believe that innovative teachers are passionate about teaching, persist in its improvement, listen to their students, use active learning adapted to the context, are risk takers, and keep themselves vital. The authors recommend that teaching and learning centers encourage and recognize innovative faculty, helping them become visible as presenters and models for their peers.