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Julia Pryce on FOTL

Posted on: December 20th, 2013 by Sarah Dysart

A note from the FCIP’s Associate Director, Julia Pryce about the upcoming FOTL event:

As the holidays approach and grades are turned in, I find myself looking forward to the “Focus on Teaching & Learning” event, which will be held on Loyola’s Water Tower campus on January 9, 2014. Although I have participated in FOTL in the past, I am particularly excited about this year’s line up. Our keynote, Dr. Laura Sponsler, is a highly recommended speaker and promises to engage us, both personally and professionally, as she kicks off the day.  In terms of the program, FOTL is boasting a record number of submissions this year across many disciplines and schools.  We also are trying some new initiatives, such as “Ignatian Innovation”, a shorter and more informal format geared toward encouraging new ideas among faculty, as a means of using FOTL for multiple purposes. For example, some faculty are presenting ideas that they have considered in the past, but from a new angle. Others are sharing fledgling efforts in the classroom and are looking for feedback to move their ideas forward. Still others are engaging with colleagues across disciplines to consider key ideas as it relates to Ignatian Pedagogy and/or our work in the classroom.

More generally, our growing hope is that faculty and staff at Loyola University Chicago can use FOTL as an incubator for advancing our creativity and innovation, in the classroom and beyond. In some of the best cases, FOTL has been used to inform teaching, which has lead to creative research and scholarship among faculty. For myself, I engaged in FOTL as a new faculty member, and then in pursuit of tenure, considered it more of a “luxury” to attend conferences focused exclusively on teaching. Now, as an Associate Professor, I regret the few years that I missed out on this remarkable opportunity to join with other LUC colleagues to consider the ideas and practices that inform our daily activities on campus. And, according to feedback from participants of past FOTLs, there hasn’t been a year that has not offered inspiration, renewed energy, and new ideas for those who attend.

I look forward to seeing you at the Focus on Teaching & Learning conference in January, and to embracing our role as teachers and learners here at Loyola.

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