Center for Teaching

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Mission

The mission of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching is to promote university teaching that leads to meaningful student learning.  By helping members of the Vanderbilt community become more effective teachers, the Center for Teaching supports the educational mission of the university and enhances the learning experiences of its students.

We offer programs and services in four primary, overlapping areas that advance our mission:

  • Providing opportunities to develop and refine foundational teaching skills through workshops, seminars, and individual consultations;
  • Consulting with educators as they adopt and evaluate new teaching practices as part of their continuing professional development;
  • Fostering campus conversations on teaching and learning that are informed by national and international higher education developments, as well as local issues and priorities; and
  • Identifying, sharing, and advocating for research-based practices in university teaching and the resources that support them.

Our offerings are available to any members of the Vanderbilt community interested in developing their teaching practices.

Our work is guided by the knowledge that teaching is a skill that can be developed over time.  Instructors of all experience levels can grow as teachers and continue to refine their teaching practices.  Since each teaching situation is unique, there is no one right way to teach. The choices we make as teachers and the instructional approaches we use should be guided by our pedagogical goals, suit our particular teaching contexts (content, students, environment), and be informed by the literature on teaching and learning.

We promote effective teaching through a variety of complementary processes.  We draw on and contribute to the body of scholarship on teaching and learning.  We promote deep understanding of educational processes by helping others critically reflect on their own teaching and their students’ learning.  We foster communities of teachers at Vanderbilt so that members of these communities can learn from and support each other’s teaching experiences.  And, in concert with the Provost’s office and a network of partners across the campus, we foster institutional structures and resources that support effective teaching at Vanderbilt.