Effective Teaching Exchange


This project brought together key administrators and faculty members to address the question of improving the quality of Al-Quds and Brandeis faculty members' teaching and research. Key activities included a series of short-term faculty exchanges in 2009, holding two workshops in 2007-08, as well as establishing a new Committee for the Support of Teaching at Al-Quds University.

Effective TeachingThe exchange was launched in May 2006 by Brandeis professor Susan Lanser and senior associate dean of arts and sciences Elaine Wong. They took leading roles in hosting six faculty members from Al-Quds in October 2006 and developed the exchange plans. The visitors worked with Brandeis faculty members, developed new pedagogical strategies, planned for Al-Quds teaching workshops, identified future research collaborations, and developed "teaching effectiveness" action plans.

A year later, the partnership established an Effective Teaching Workshop at Al-Quds, which included topics such as pedagogy and orientation for new faculty. That program was followed by two-day workshop in May 2008 that focused on assessment of student performance, led jointly by Brandeis faculty and the new Al-Quds Committee for the Support of Teaching. Several potential curricular and research collaborations were discussed in English language, psychology, and political science. In addition, a conversation about science education was scheduled to take place as part of the exchange.

In 2008, Lydia Fash and Njelle Hamilton, doctoral candidates in English and American literature at Brandeis University, became the first members of the Distinguished International Teaching Fellows program. During June and July, they spent nearly six weeks at Al-Quds University's summer school teaching English language courses, leading workshops, advising on curriculum and material development and furthering the overall goals of the Effective Teaching project.

Prof. chatThe exchange continued in May 2009, when selected Brandeis faculty "in residence" at Al-Quds taught short modules, and consulted on curriculum and research development, in partnership with their Al-Quds faculty counterparts. The Committee for the Support of Teaching at Al-Quds University also continued its work with a workshop on faculty mentoring.

In November 2009, a team of Al-Quds faculty members returned the favor by visiting Brandeis. They gave lectures, visited department counterparts, and attended a number of community events. Also in 2009, Brandeis students visited Al-Quds and vice versa as part of the undergraduate student exchange.

The Committee for the Support of Teaching continued to strengthen its position in 2010, and under its auspices a number of subsequent faculty workshops and mentoring programs were undertaken. Staff and faculty at Brandeis continued to be in touch with their Al-Quds counterparts over email to offer support and advice. Additionally, the collaboration between Daniel Kryder (Politics, Brandeis) and Amneh Badran (Political Science, Al-Quds) flourished. They are both particularly interested in using cultural sites as models of exploration of these ideas, and in using students in experiential learning projects at these sites.

AmnehIn February 2011, Professor Badran visited Brandeis for almost two weeks. First, she continued her faculty partnership with Kryder, participated in several Politics Department meetings, attended graduate and undergraduate courses, and gave guest lectures on her recent research. Second, Professor Badran consulted with Brandeis steering committee members on the future of the partnership, including plans for the Effective Teaching workshops in June 2011. Third, she attended a special meeting of Brandeis women faculty and senior administrators to discuss issues concerning women’s leadership at both Brandeis and Al- Quds and helped to formulate a women and leadership concept paper for the next phase of the partnership. Professor Badran also met with past participants in the student and faculty exchanges.

Effective Teaching activities were central to the Brandeis team’s June 2011 visit to Abu Dis. Participants engaged in a series of workshops and meetings that built upon previous visits and established partnerships not only with the Committee for the Support of Teaching but also with faculty and staff with whom they had partnered in the United States or Palestine. Three additional sessions, involving the Brandeis team and nearly a dozen Al-Quds faculty members from a wide range of disciplines, were devoted to the joint drafting of a manual for effective teaching that will represent one tangible product of the partnership.