Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education



Pat Hutchings

Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by the Professional and Organizational

Development Network in Higher Education, volume 16, 1997.


In an effort to make teaching and learning more central, a growing number of campuses are adopting some form of the "pedagogical colloquium," a strategy proposed by Lee Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in the context of a national project on the peer review of teaching. The purpose of the pedagogical colloquium is to create an occasion for examining and assessing the teaching skills and potential of faculty job candidates. Different models are now evolving, from formal presentations parallel in nature to the research colloquium commonly expected of job candidates, to more informal discussions of pedagogy, sometimes in combination with other strategies, such as teaching demonstrations. The pedagogical colloquium has the potential to make teaching more important in hiring decisions and to prompt important departmental campus conversation about expectations of faculty in the teaching arena, but it also raises a number of difficult issues. In this article, Pat Hutchings describes three emerging models, analyzes issues, and looks ahead to next steps in making the pedagogical colloquium a route to a more scholarly conception of teaching.