Short Author Bio(s)

Todd D. Zakrajsek
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

My Ph.D. is in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University. I am currently an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Over the past 15 years I served as director of faculty development at Southern Oregon, Central Michigan, and UNC. I direct two annual National Lilly Conferences on University Teaching and serve on educational advisory boards for Lenovo Computer and Microsoft. I am also a board member of several journals devoted to teaching, learning, and faculty development. In 2003 I received the POD Innovation Award for originating the “5-Minute Workshop.” I publish and present widely on the topic of student learning and faculty development, with workshops and keynote addresses given in 41 states and 7 countries.


Excerpt: Most academic disciplines throughout the world have been in the higher education curriculum for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years. Teaching itself has certainly been around as long as the earliest of any given discipline. After all, without teaching no profession is possible. How else would a core set of knowledge be taught to those interested in the theoretical constructs, conceptual frameworks, and the successes/failures of those who have worked previously in the discipline? Unfortunately, the concept of consistently teaching from a base of scholarly activity is relatively new. What happens, then, when the very concept of how to teach disciplinary knowledge at the university level is questioned for the lack of having a scholarly basis? There is certainly a professional discipline of “Education,” but much of that literature is not consulted by those teaching at the university level, perhaps based on an assumption that the bulk of the scholarly work is predominantly on instruction at the primary grades. The issue I raise here is how are we to convince faculty members, both new and experienced, that our work as higher education educators within the framework of teaching should be based solidly on a professional body of scholarly work. It would seem to me imperative that all faculty members should anchor every instructional and curricular aspects of their work on some form of scholarship.