The ultimate celebration of learning would occur when at least one or two people within an institution recognize that they do not have to work so hard to promote the benefits of teaching and learning - there is a cultural shift to embrace creative and effective means of learning as a real value to the institution.
How do we get there? Small steps. A cultural shift in institutional mindsets will not happen in a year or two...a key ingredient is passion. That passion has to be seen at four different levels: micro (working with individuals), meso (working with unit or division leaders/champions), macro (working with the institution) and mega (working beyond the institution) - this framework, micro-mega, was one presented at the Educational Developers Caucus Meeting this past February by Laura Winer from the Teaching and Learning Services Centre at McGill University. It is easier for us to celebrate and recognize informal learning among a self-selected group of informal learners (mirco-level), but to have an impact, I think we need to focus on the other three levels.
The meso-level may have the largest impact for many of us. What would celebration look like there? Letters of recognition that are valued by that unit/division. Providing opportunities for sharing of knowledge/skills/values gained from informal learning to others within the unit/division. Ensuring reward structures are aligned with the cultural ethos that values informal learning.
and then capping it off with a good bottle of wine
What would celebration look like for others?
What advice would you give them to move the cultural change agenda forward? Let’s say that this hypothetical is in a 2- or 4-year teaching institution.
Ken I think you are right on with this comment - the president and provost are the keys.
How do we begin to change their ways of thinking about professional development? One strategy is to set them up for success. One way to do this is to utilize an existing committee (or establish a committee) that reports directly to the Provost or President. The terms of reference should reflect issues that are important to the institution (e.g., Learning Outcomes, Promoting Teaching Excellence). Successfully delivering on these objectives, and reporting back to the Provost on how they have lead to positive changes.