Professor of Education and Coordinator of The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute Alison Cook-Sather recently returned from her first residency as The Jean Rudduck Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
Cook-Sather, who has been at the forefront of bringing student-voice research and practice into secondary-teacher preparation and college-faculty development, is the first to hold the title.
While at Cambridge, Cook-Sather facilitated the second annual student-voice seminar at the Faculty of Education. This year's gathering, called "Strengthening Links Across the Lines," built on the foundation of last year's seminar, which was conceptualized to honor and extend the student-voice work pioneered by Rudduck. This two-day event brought together scholars, teachers, policy makers, and students from Brazil, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Cook-Sather also gave a talk at the Open University in the town of Milton Keynes and led a master class at Queen's University in Belfast during her trip.
"It's incredibly exciting to see people at all levels working together to realize the potential of student participation in educational reform," says Cook-Sather. "During my trip I spoke with educators from around the world who are interested in collaborating on the development of student-voice work."
This summer, Cook-Sather is also working with Catherine Bovill of the University of Glasgow and Peter Felten, assistant provost and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University, to complete a book on faculty-student partnerships in higher education.
Felten will serve as the second fellow of The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr during the 2012-13 academic year. He will work with faculty members at Bryn Mawr and Haverford to explore the notion of threshold concepts. These and other opportunities for faculty are listed on the newly revised TLI website.
As the potential for student-voice work and student-faculty partnerships modeled through the TLI gains visibility--highlighted in stories in The New York Times and The Times Higher Education--Cook-Sather continues to receive invitations to share this work. In October she will participate in a plenary address at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Teaching and Learning in Ontario. That month she will also present research conducted in collaboration with TLI student consultant and Bryn Mawr alumna Praise Agu '12 at the conference of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Seattle.