Professor earns prestigious honor

Dr. Woden Teachout

Dr. Woden Teachout, Faculty Development Coordinator and Professor of Graduate Studies, has been named a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

HEA is an international, non-profit organization that promotes teaching excellence in higher education. Fellowships are earned through written reflection and interaction with an HEA Mentor to demonstrate how one’s teaching/supporting learning practices fulfill the dimensions of the UK Professional Standards Framework (PSF): Areas of Activity, Core Knowledge, and Professional Values.

The evaluators had high praise for Dr. Teachout:

This is a highly reflective fellowship application underpinned by pedagogical scholarship with a focus on meeting the needs of adult learners and developing faculty.  The assessors agree that you are above the criteria for Senior Fellow and are a credit to the teaching profession. Your scholarship, expert content knowledge, and ability and willingness to share this knowledge and support teaching and learning across the globe are commendable. We appreciate your masterful use of literature to inform course/program design and innovation opportunities, your attentiveness to impact measures, your adherence to adult learning principles and relevance of the teaching and learning environment, and your commitment to continuing professional development. We are pleased to award and welcome you into the Higher Education Academy as Senior Fellow – congratulations! 

Dr. Teachout reflects on her fellowship.

“The process was a powerful opportunity to pause and reflect on the teaching that I have done and to think about how I might continue to develop in the future. It made me realize how much my teaching practice has been shaped by the kind of transformational education that we do at Union — and that the rest of the world is trying to catch up to what we are doing.”

The Senior Fellowship is a semester-long reflection in which teaching is evaluated through the criteria and aspiring fellows demonstrate how they have met each value.

Dr. Teachout has taught at Union for 14 years on both the master’s and doctoral levels. She has received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and recently stepped down as chair of the Faculty Council. Last July she was named the university’s first Faculty Development Coordinator.

“Union offers the kind of education that I want to be a part of. Early in my career, I discovered adult progressive education and became fascinated by the principles of andragogy. This began a career-long commitment to teaching adult students, many from marginalized communities, in programs inspired by John Dewey’s vision of education.  I am particularly passionate about teaching those skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking that underly all other forms of academic work. I have repeatedly seen how mastery of these skills catalyzes profound forms of empowerment, intellectual and beyond,” Dr. Teachout explained.

Dr. Teachout earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University and an M.A. in Education from Union with a focus on teaching writing. She is a two-time Fulbright scholar (Kyrgyzstan and Romania). She is the recipient of multiple teaching prizes, including the Alan Heimert Teaching Prize at Harvard and Union’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Her past research has explored why history matters, with a special focus on the intersection of historical memory, politics, and patriotism. She is the author of “Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism” (Basic Books, 2009) and co-author of “Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home” (Chelsea Green, 2012). She and her work have been featured in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, and on C-SPAN Book TV. Her most recent research applies adult education and progressive education models to the teaching of academic writing with the goal of providing empowering, culturally relevant writing support. She has worked with universities in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia providing curriculum enhancement, faculty development, and student workshops.

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