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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 98 | December 21 2008|


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Faculty Development at Presidency University

Md. Ziaul Karim

EDUCATIONAL institutions are the factories which produce human resources. The better academics an institution possess, the better human resources it manufactures. An institution cannot hold a top-class ranking if it does not have a good bunch of teaching practitioners. The success of the students depends greatly on their effective teaching. It is a matter of fact that every teacher's way of imparting knowledge is not equally effective for the students. A proverb goes “many men, many minds”. Similarly I will say that all teachers have unique styles.

So, if we had the choice as teachers, wouldn't it be nice to learn about new teaching techniques from rich resources? Yes, it would have.

Faculty Development Program, organized by the Department of English, at Presidency University is one such “resource” where ideas related to teaching are shared and analyzed. This program gives a platform for teachers to learn from one another.

A teacher always strives to reach perfection that actually can never be availed unless he or she goes through a continuous process of learning. At Presidency University peer observation and feedback are much encouraged to help improve a teacher's professional skills. Every teacher has something new in the style of his or her teaching. We can be dynamic teachers if we can learn different styles and apply them in our own classes. There is no harm in observing teachers of other subjects as their approach of teaching is more important than their teaching content. But to share ideas and thoughts with the subject-specific teachers is more effective because it gives a holistic picture of how a particular subject should be taught.

Besides the continuous “peer observation and feedback,” Presidency University has been arranging in-house Faculty Development Program for the past two years. These programs, approximately 16 hours long, invites experts like Dr. Patrick Dougherty, George Mano, Esq., and Dr. Bill Balsamo from the USA. Interactive sessions including workshops are conducted by the guest experts and local teachers.

The spirited participation of the faculty in the Faculty Development programs proves the high value of these programs among teachers. This year the UGC chairman Professor Dr. Nazrul Islam joined the certificate giving ceremony as a chief guest. He admired the program and admitted that this is the first time that any private university had come forward to take such a valuable project to develop our teaching standards. He wished that other universities would follow the same path.

Department of English plans to hold its third Faculty Development Program at Presidency University in March 2009.

Any words about Faculty Development would be left incomplete if we don't mention something about BELTA (Bangladesh English Language Teachers' Association). This volunteer organization arranges regular programs for teachers to learn from one another. Presidency University has been working closely with BELTA in this regard.

Lecturer, Presidency University

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