There are over 19,000 faculty at CUNY teaching over 274,000 students across 24 campuses; together, we comprise the nation’s largest urban public university system. CUNY is formidable, yet the very size and decentralized nature of the university can make it difficult for faculty and staff to connect with colleagues across departments, disciplines, and campuses, and to learn more about their practices in the classroom. What courses do they teach? How do they teach them? What works for them? What failed memorably? We want to know!
Visible Pedagogy is committed to highlighting the tremendously diverse range of teaching and learning activity that takes place across CUNY, inside the classroom, in digital spaces, and at strategic locations throughout New York City, including museums, archives, and historical sites. Our goal is not only to aggregate and disseminate best practices—actionable ideas and effective assignments that have worked in the context of CUNY courses—but also to broaden the conversation around teaching and learning at CUNY, by bringing in the voices of both full- and part-time faculty, addressing challenges to and within the profession, sharing resources, and offering thoughts and provocations about the work we do as CUNY educators. In this way, we hope the site can contribute to the project of making public what is too often the invisible labor of teaching and learning.
We see the site as a collaborative extension of the many other initiatives across CUNY that aim to promote open critical pedagogy—including, most recently, the CUNY Humanities Alliance, a Mellon-sponsored partnership between the Graduate Center and LaGuardia Community College that aims to strengthen connections between graduate education and community colleges, and to prepare doctoral students to teach diverse undergraduate populations. Finally, as the title of this blog indicates, we also take inspiration from the Visible Knowledge Project, which explored the potential for digital technologies to enhance the visibility of knowledge production and acquisition.
Although the blog is edited by the staff of the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center, it will be collaboratively authored by students, instructors, and staff across the CUNY system. Our Reflective Practice series will feature brief essays by CUNY educators reflecting on their classroom experiences—including the work of five Contributing Writers who will be blogging on a range of topics during the Spring 2017 semester.
Additionally, our Teach@CUNY series will spotlight specific assignments, activities, approaches, and resources being used in CUNY classrooms, by curating short 300-word contributions on a single topic or theme. To kick off the semester, we’re featuring a slate of nine First-Day-of-Class Activities contributed by GC faculty, students, and staff. For our current call, we’re looking for great class discussion strategies—so take a look, and send us yours!
In the meantime, if you have any questions or if you’re interested in contributing, please review our Contributors’ Guidelines or write to us at tlc at gc.cuny.edu.
[Note: Statistics current as of Fall 2014/2015. Source: CUNY Office of Human Resources Management and CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Assessment]