Many of Taylor’s professors didn't major in education. They went to school for their respective disciplines, worked in their fields and then found their way to the classroom. Most didn’t have specific education on teaching, yet Taylor is full of incredibly talented professors.
The Bedi Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Center aims to be the bridge from discipline to education and give professors resources and connections to adapt and improve their teaching styles and classroom environments.
The BCTLE is headed up by Barb Bird, a professor of English, dean of faculty development and Director of the Bedi Center for Teaching and Learning. The BCTLE also has three fellows: Timothy Berkey, instructor of communication, Carie King, associate professor of English, and Michael Guebert, department co-chair and professor of geology & environmental science.
In March 2021, the BCTLE started a podcast. This initiative is headed by Berkey.
“We are looking at ways to provide opportunities for faculty to engage in a conversation about pedagogy and the integration of faith and learning,” said Berkey.
In this new age of media, the BCTLE wants to dive deeper and have ongoing conversations following speakers and events hosted by the Bedi Center. The idea originated from the desire to have follow-up conversations with people who spoke at BCTLE events.
“They present at their guest host session, and then the podcast is a conversation where I ask questions that come to my mind out of the session,” said Berkey.
The BCTLE is meant to feel like a comfortable continuous conversation that would be of value to faculty who attended the event and those who didn’t.
Many times, Taylor’s professors are limited to their own offices and interact within their own departments. They don’t always get the chance to build relationships across campus. This podcast allows Berkey to talk with people he may not have had the chance to.
“This podcast allows faculty to learn and observe from others,” Berkey said. “It is an incredible opportunity for conversations on campus and I have loved all of my guests that I've gotten to talk to.”
This integration around campus between colleagues is beneficial for them and also for students. Berkey said, “My teaching is better when I'm in conversation with other teachers.” One way that he has seen conversations develop was through the mini series the podcast did on the Mission Statement of Taylor and how to integrate faith and learning in the classroom.
Professors integrate faith in the classroom in many different ways. Some begin class with prayer and prayer requests, some start with a devotional and some incorporate a Bible verse into the assignments, but all of these are a way to integrate faith. This podcast gave an opportunity to see how to better do that in a way that works for the professor’s discipline.
Although the main audience is faculty, students can also benefit from this resource.
The podcast recently hired a new podcast producer, junior Mackenzie Derico.
Derico has a student’s perspective and said, “This could be helpful to students to better understand their professor’s teaching style and could help students better understand how to integrate their faith into life-long teaching and learning.”
Students and faculty should check out The BCTLE podcast and learn from the incredibly humble professors scattered all around campus in different offices as they come together to better themselves and each other here at Taylor University.
Be sure to listen to The BCTLE Podcast. You can find it anywhere podcasts are.