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Building Civic Capacity on Campus Through a Radically Inclusive Teaching and Learning Initiative

Abstract

In this article we explore the definition and development of civic capacity at a liberal arts college through a specific teaching and learning initiative. This initiative encourages faculty, staff, and students to share the roles of teacher, learner, and colleague as they gain educational opportunities and foster these for others. Through a description of two programs and analysis of participants’ reflections, we identify four stages of change that foster civic capacity. We suggest that this initiative invites a re-interpretation of the institution as a site of educational opportunities and raises questions about how to broaden access to these opportunities.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges collaborate in several arenas; and in the summer of 2007, Haverford College faculty members began to participate in the faculty branches of the Teaching and Learning Initiative, including the “Students as Learners and Teachers” program. In the fall of 2008, the Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Provosts co-funded the extension of the grant-supported model of faculty seminars to all incoming tenure-track faculty members. The staff education branch of the TLI is open only to Bryn Mawr College staff as it is funded by Bryn Mawr College, although both Bryn Mawr and Haverford students may participate.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all of the colleagues—faculty, staff, and students—whose work and voices inform and enrich this paper and the projects it discusses. We also thank the editor and reviewers of Innovative Higher Education as well as colleagues Jody Cohen, Rob Goldberg, Alfred Guy, Howard Lesnick, Erica Seaborne, and Elliott Shore, for critical feedback during the revision process.

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Correspondence to Alice Lesnick or Alison Cook-Sather.

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Lesnick, A., Cook-Sather, A. Building Civic Capacity on Campus Through a Radically Inclusive Teaching and Learning Initiative. Innov High Educ 35, 3–17 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-009-9122-3

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Key words

  • civic capacity
  • collaboration
  • change