REL Contributes to Wabash Early Career Workshop

Last weekend, Prof. Steven Ramey braved the cold to meet five other scholars of religion at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, an hour west of Indianapolis. The group bunkered down at the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion while they planned a workshop series for professors who teach undergraduates.

The Workshop for Early Career Religion Faculty Teaching Undergraduates hopes to challenge professors to reconsider their techniques in the classroom and to practice self-reflective evaluations of their work. Through their own experience teaching in higher ed, the leadership team noticed the implications of the evolving needs of students. Beyond useful course material, collegiate courses require adaptability in the classroom to maximize student involvement and individual success.

The workshops will be broken down into several 3-5 day sessions between July of 2019 and June of 2020. Prof. Ramey will help lead early career faculty members from across the nation in the program with the goal of guiding them towards flexible education processes.

A pamphlet from the Wabash Center on the workshop Prof. Ramey will lead starting this June.

The brief but informative courses will allow participants to work both on an individual basis and as groups. Sustained dialogue amongst them will help stimulate critical reflections on the modern needs of a college classroom and their own goals when designing class material. Prof. Ramey and his colleagues hope to encourage educators to maintain strong intrapersonal practices to improve their coursework and guidance in the classroom.

Although Prof. Ramey will serve as one of five religious scholars on the workshop leadership team, he predicts that the early career faculty participants will not be the only ones to learn from this experience. He admits that the leadership teams’ initial conversation has already reminded him of not only the value of self-reflexivity but also the value of discourse with professors outside his typical perspective.

The Department looks forward to following Prof. Ramey’s leadership role in the Education Workshop over the next year and a half.