Adding an 8th Principle
to Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
The "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" (Chickering & Gamson, 1987) were built on a solid base of research and practice. The TLT Group does not propose to extend those Principles formally in our online activities in 2015. However, we encourage thought and discussion about what might usefully be added. We hope to accumulate a variety of these "8th Principles" and to identify technology resources that support them. The resulting compilation could become a useful resource.
(If you prefer, you may first review the original 7, some thought-provoking questions, and some related examples below.)
First paragraphs from original publication (Chickering, Gamson 1987):
“Apathetic students, illiterate graduates, incompetent teaching, impersonal campuses--so rolls the drumfire of criticism of higher education. More than two years of reports have spelled out the problems. States have been quick to respond by holding out carrots and beating with sticks.
“There are neither enough carrots nor enough sticks to improve undergraduate education without the commitment and action of students and faculty members. They are the precious resources on whom the improvement of undergraduate education depends.
“But how can students and faculty members improve undergraduate education? Many campuses around the country are asking this question. To provide a focus for their work, we offer seven principles based on research on good teaching and learning in colleges and universities.
"Good practice in undergraduate education:”
- Encourages contacts between students and faculty.
- Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.
- Uses active learning techniques.
- Gives prompt feedback.
- Emphasizes time on task.
- Communicates high expectations.
- Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
More applicable to the conditions and situations most relevant for your institution?
More helpful to you and your colleagues?
More applicable to your own experience and values?
Being Elevated by the Seven Principles? Can anyone take the Seven Principles seriously WITHOUT being led toward larger issues? How do any of these Seven Principles connect to other, larger issues?
Historical Context? How were the Seven Principles (developed in the 1980s/1990s) shaped by their historical context? How have conditions changed so that the Seven Principles need to be revised? How do they still apply?
Research Supporting Seven Principles? What kinds of research supported the identification of these seven principles? Is there any one place to go to see the citations of the research behind each of the seven principles?
Challenge: Awareness, Use? Why do so few people in higher education seem to have heard of these Seven Principles? To what extent were these principles accepted? Embraced? Implemented? Is their work done? Is there anything that has superseded the Seven Principles?
Connecting Seven Principles with…? To what extent are the Seven Principles useful not only in your work with courses in higher education, but also within other activities on campus? Off campus? In what ways do the Seven Principles relate to Service Learning?
In what ways is “caring” already part of the Seven Principles?
Should "caring" be more explicitly and prominently included?
Consider faculty caring about students; faculty caring about ideas and knowledge; faculty caring about their colleagues; as well as students caring about faculty; students caring about ideas and knowledge; students caring about each other…. Academic support professionals caring enough, but not too much about helping faculty improve their teaching and their students’ learning!
Learning by Teaching
Almost everyone who has ever taught another person anything - formally or informally - eventually notices that doing so is one of the most powerful, effective ways to learn. Almost anyone who prepares for and then engages in teaching other(s) learns more than the students, learns more than he/she had previously learned about that topic. So, it is surprising how few discussions of pedagogy include "learning by teaching" as an effective strategy option. Shouldn't it be? What are some tactics for increasing options for "Learning by Teaching" in traditional courses? In very large enrollment courses? When using various combinations of face-to-face and online communications? Do some of the 7 Principles reflect or support "Learning by Teaching" better than others? Or is "Learning by Teaching" in a completely different category from the 7 Ps?
Differences Among Individuals (Learners, Teachers, ... )
In what ways is acknowledgement of this kind of diversity already part of the Seven Principles?
Should it be more explicitly and prominently included?
Can or should all teachers, all faculty members apply each of the 7 Principles equally?
Even when teaching the similar courses to similar groups of students, can or should teachers apply the 7 Principles in the same ways?
Are there ways of being a good teacher that seem to be overlooked by the 7 Principles?
Meta-Cognition: Reflective Thinking about Learning (and Thinking, and Teaching)
In what ways is “reflective thinking about learning” already part of the Seven Principles?
Should "reflective thinking about learning" be more explicitly and prominently included?
Doug Eder, then at Arizona State University: "...e-learning provides a special, if not unique, opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned and how they learned it. The asynchronous nature of e-courses provides this special opportunity and, coincidentally, I do not see provision for reflective thinking displayed in the original Seven Principles." e-mail message to Steve Gilbert et al. 4/5/2007
Even More Examples (Click here)
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