The dean of the faculty, through departments, offices, and centers that report to her and through collaborations with entities outside the college, offers opportunities to the faculty to encourage pedagogical experimentation at Amherst. Such experimentation serves to expand the curriculum and to support student learning. With these goals in mind, and with resources provided by the dean, new initiatives and programs regularly join ongoing programs. Current opportunities include the following:
Dean's Annual Retreats with a Focus on Pedagogy
The dean of the faculty, in partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, sponsors an annual retreat with a focus on pedagogy for faculty and instructional staff. Learn more about the Dean's Annual Retreats.
Integrating Extended Travel into Amherst Courses
Courses that Integrate extended travel connect scholarship to the world beyond the classroom and offer students a chance to see performances, visit archives, or to undertake field work. Funding is available to integrate extended travel abroad and/or to domestic locations some distance from the college into a small number of courses. Learn more about Funding for Courses that Integrate Extended Travel.
Research Tutorials in the humanities and "humanistic" social sciences offer faculty and students the opportunity to collaborate on shared research projects. The enrollment for each tutorial is limited to six students. Learn more about Research Tutorials.
Point/Counter Point Seminars
Amherst courses regularly feature the exploration of competing ideas in ways that model the norms of civility and reasoned analysis that are necessary for constructive public discourse. Funding is available to support the development and teaching of seminars that center on this approach. Learn more about Point/Counter Point Seminars.
"Reimagining the Commons" Project
Created with support from the college’s “Reimagining the Commons” grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this program offers grants to aid Amherst’s academic departments and programs as they review and redesign course sequences and majors, with the goal of helping all students, regardless of background or preparation, engage more deeply with what they are learning. Learn more about the Reimagining the Commons Project.
Initiatives Launched during this Academic Year
Universal Design and Beyond: Course Design for Student Inclusion in the discipline offers research, resources, and structured time for faculty to work on designing mid-level courses in a discipline. In four workshops offered in the spring of 2018, faculty have begun to “unpack” crucial methodologies and epistemologies in their disciplines and utilize Universal Design principles along with the principles of “Decoding the Disciplines” to move their students from novices, to apprentices positioned to contribute to the discipline. Support for Faculty in less Quantitative Fields to Integrate Quantitative/Computational Analysis into Courses, a program that will begin in the summer of 2018, will enable faculty to offer one or two classes, or modules, in which quantitative reasoning could shed light on a topic that is relevant to the course. Less quantitative subject matter instructors will be matched with quantitative faculty who will offer assistance. In addition, if needed, the Moss Quantitative Center will work with the Center for Teaching and Learning to provide additional assistance with designing and developing the modules. Learn more about these initiatives.
Opportunities that focus on pedagogy are a central part of the dean’s program to introduce new faculty to Amherst. Learn more about the Program for New Faculty.
Center for Teaching and Learning
Amherst’s Center for Teaching and Learning offers a wide range of pedagogical resources and programs to support faculty in their design of courses and curricula.