Expanding the Scholarly Conversation on the New Faculty Majority and Contingent Faculty Work
Scholarship tells us that the best teachers engage in professional development, reflect upon and share best teaching practices, and participate in current conversations within their fields, yet we realize that a significant number of teacher-scholars are often left out of these exchanges. Across institutions of higher education, less than thirty percent of faculty are employed under working conditions that are sustainable or ethical, and increasingly, contingent faculty members working off the tenure-track in higher education are neither encouraged nor supported in sharing their work in public venues. This omission of contingent faculty voices creates a significant gap in the scholarship of teaching and in larger public discussions on a variety of issues related to instruction and learning. In this multivocal conversation, including video anecdotes, we will highlight the innovative work of contingent faculty across disciplines who do maintain research agendas and provide scholarly models for drawing other contingent faculty into these discussions. Realizing that this work is often neither supported nor easy to initiate given heavy teaching loads and service responsibilities, contributors to this digital exchange suggest realistic ways for faculty members to capture and document work that they are already doing and describe a range of collaborative projects that lead to new research and publishing opportunities.
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