Teaching and Learning at Pratt
Teaching and learning at Pratt are guided by a commitment to providing the most up-to-date, relevant and rigorous learning experiences for students. From designing assignments and syllabi to creating program-level outcomes and discussing innovative pedagogical and curricular approaches, faculty and administrators are continuously researching and implementing best practices for the students’ academic experiences. Students are also involved in their learning through student organizations, such as the Student Government Association, and through various reflective practices at the course and program level.
Pratt’s current instructional development initiatives include:
- Support for research on student learning through five multidisciplinary Faculty Learning Communities
- The development of Institute-wide Pratt Integrative Courses (PIC)
- Brown Bag lunches - During the 2016-17 Academic Year, a series of three brown bag lunches will galvanize support and ideas for the design of a sustainable, instructional development plan.
- Access to Resources - The Project Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Pratt Library supports teaching and learning with access to resources, space for workshops and seminars, and an informal site for networking.
Faculty Learning Communities
The FLC’s are multidisciplinary and emphasize faculty and staff learning through community building and action-research. The FLC participants are engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as they pose problems about learning issues, use appropriate methods to study the problem and apply their findings to their teaching practice. The FLC participants will share their research findings through peer review, public conferences, and publications. Read more about Faculty Learning Communities.
Faculty Development through Pratt Integrative Courses
The Pratt Integrative Courses are designed as interdisciplinary explorations of a wide range of possible content, putting into practice multiple ways of thinking and ways of making. Students will acquire and integrate skills and competencies from both studio and general education classes, recombining them in novel and unexpected ways that test, challenge, and expand their creative/critical capacities.
PICs capture, promote and institutionalize integrative learning and contribute to a new curriculum that facilitates the crossing of departmental boundaries. Faculty work with colleagues to address ways of achieving the student learning outcomes that are common to all PICs, thereby becoming part of a cross-departmental community engaged in an institute-wide curricular initiative.
The PIC universe thus aims to provide a framework where support and feedback on syllabi, the creation of assignments and the sharing of challenges faced before and during the classes, are essential parts of the offering. PICs provide a learning enterprise for faculty that allows for academic, intellectual and pedagogical growth in a collegial environment, while being at the forefront of curricular innovation and beyond, with the potential of contributing to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Faculty Orientation at Pratt gives new faculty the opportunity to engage in conversation about Pratt, with sessions devoted to discussions about how we support our faculty and students, with sessions on:
- Supporting faculty in their teaching, with a focus on resources available and a workshop session on helping ALL students achieve the goals we set for them (bring a syllabus for one of your classes, so that you can think through—in specific terms—how you’ll gauge student success in achieving learning outcomes)
- Supporting faculty in their creative work / research, with time to engage with Pratt’s newly hired Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships
- Supporting student success, with a focus on the holistic support available to students in the form of academic and Student Life resources, the policies and processes that guide the work we all do, and the kinds of challenges that tend to come up in any given semester
This will also be a chance for you to learn about Pratt’s system of shared governance and how you can participate in it. Our goals are for you to leave this Orientation having completed key new hire processes that will let you function easily and effectively in the Pratt community, learned some key things about how Pratt works as well as the resources we have to support you, and energized by the prospect of participating in the Pratt community.
Outcomes and Assessment
Pratt Institute is dedicated to an outcomes and assessment based education experience. All academic units have program outcomes, and Student Outcome Assessment Plans guide faculty in their design, implementation and revision of curriculum. Programs are also regularly reviewed by peers, while various degree programs have discipline-specific accreditation bodies that facilitate their work. This overall dedication to a robust outcomes-based education at the program, school and institute levels ensures rigorous, up-to-date, and fluid curricula that provide the essential learning outcomes of the disciplines while retaining the flexibility to adjust to an ever-changing academic landscape.
Pratt’s Archived Instructional Development Initiatives
Assessment x Design
In 2014, faculty and staff at Pratt Institute initiated a series of collaborative efforts focused on teaching, learning and assessment, with the goal of supporting student, professional and organizational learning. For example, the Assessment x Design Project supported action research projects to build a community of pedagogical practice at Pratt Institute (Banta, et al., 2002). Faculty and staff conducted research on course and program assessment which they presented in a symposium in Spring 2015.
Pedagogical Strategies for Equity and Inclusion
The "Pedagogical Strategies" series of faculty development workshops targets ways that faculty across the campus can incorporate techniques that help support non-native English speakers’ success in their classes. The Intensive English Program (IEP) faculty shared their expertise in developing assignments and activities that engage and incorporate students who are new to the specificity of the linguistic, cultural, and academic expectations of a North American art school. They identified some of the assumptions that underlie our teaching practices so that they can be made more explicit and attainable to a wider range of students.
To see the archive of workshop videos and materials, log in to the ePortfolio page with your onekey information.
Inclusive Pedagogy scholars Program
The Inclusive Pedagogy Scholars Program (IPSP) is initiated by faculty, students, and administrators at Pratt Institute. This initiative was proposed and developed by Black Lives Matter Pratt and the Social Justice/Social Practice Collective. IPSP is supported through the generosity and commitment of the Provost’s Office. Its mission is to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice on campus. By researching and assessing the needs of individual schools, the IPSP program will synthesize, strategize, and implement positive actions in order to address issues of exclusion, in both the curriculum and pedagogical practices used in classrooms and studio spaces across the Institute.