11/26/13 ASHLAND, Ohio – Two Ashland University education professors have collaborated to publish a book that they hope will serve as a guide for reforming colleges and schools of education in universities across the United States. These organizations currently are facing a critical series of reforms and restructuring movements as the professional field of education responds to the economic and workforce challenges faced in this country.
Dr. Rachel Wlodarsky and Dr. Howard Walters, both associate professors of education in the Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University, collaborated to publish “Reflection and the College Teacher: A Solution for Higher Education.”
The book is a volume in the series “Innovative Perspectives of Higher Education: Research, Theory and Practice,” which is edited by Kathleen P. King at the University of South Florida.
Published by Information Age Publishing, the book is available online in paperback and hardcover as well as an ebook.
According to Wlodarsky and Walters, they designed the chapters to include scenarios that are developed from interview transcripts with college teachers. These stories powerfully contextualize the types of problems and tensions that surround the professional work environment of a college campus and the roles of the college teacher.
“Higher education is facing many challenges, not least of which is retaining excellent faculty and cultivating their continued professional growth,” Walters said. “This book explicitly ties the literature to the practical concerns and recommendations related to applying the reflective process in a college setting.”
Walters said that in this way, the theories and empirical findings of the most recent literatures are linked to practical recommendations.
“The reflective tools described in this book provide an important resource for faculty’s reflective practice,” he said. “Unlike other books on the topic, the model developed and presented in this book allows for the reflective process to validate faculty’s previous actions or accomplishments and maintain these practices. In other words, the endpoint of reflective process supports self-satisfaction. Instead of a deficit model, the focus is development.”
Wlodarsky added that in this comprehensive volume, readers discover the seminal and the recent research in reflective practice drawn from a wide range of sources, including the authors’ recent research findings on college teachers’ reflection.
She noted that the book systematically address a number of critical questions, including:
-- What is reflection?
-- Of what practical use or benefit does reflection serve?
-- How do college teachers model reflection in the workplace?
-- What are the steps in the reflective process?
-- How can the reflective process be harnessed for program improvement in the college setting and in individual faculty practices?
“We understand and address the real needs of college teachers today,” Wlodarsky said. “We believe we have created not only a thorough academic book, but also a compelling, relevant read.”
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###