Matz and McKeigue Selected for ACRL's Intentional Teacher Program

Elizabeth McKeigue and Pam Matz
Elizabeth McKeigue and Pam Matz, Librarians in Widener Library Research Services, will participate in ACRL's Intentional Teacher Track, a program designed to make academic librarians more self-aware and self-directed as teachers.

Pam Matz and Elizabeth McKeigue, Librarians in Widener Library Research Services, have been selected to participate in the competitive Intentional Teacher Track of ACRL’s Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program 2008. Led by a faculty of nationally recognized librarians, the program is designed for academic librarians who want to become more self-aware and self-directed as teachers.

“I applied to the program,” explains Matz, “because I am eager to have an opportunity to consider thoughtfully, with colleagues from a variety of other institutions, with a variety of other points of view, what we want to teach students now, at this point of extraordinary change in research practices, and how we want to carry out that teaching.”

At the end of July, Matz and McKeigue will travel to the University of California, San Diego, where they will spend three and a half days examining their teaching practices along with 38 other participants, all academic librarians with at least five years of teaching experience. There they will use a variety of tools (student perspective, colleague as resource, research literature on teaching and learning) to learn how to reflect critically and continuously on their own teaching practices, to articulate a personal philosophy of teaching and learning, and to examine how that philosophy is applied in daily practice. They will also experiment with a variety of instructional practices and examine the value of uncertainty and risk-taking in deepening their identity and integrity as teachers.

McKeigue, for one, hopes to expand her knowledge of educational technology, like developing online tutorials and interactive programs to enhance library services. “A particular challenge we face as library instructors is determining what technologies will help us to best achieve our desired learning outcomes,” she says.

“As a participant in this program,” says McKeigue, “I hope to further develop my personal philosophy of teaching, to learn from and give back to a national community of instruction practitioners, to expand my pedagogical skill set, and to share what I experience and learn with my colleagues at Harvard. Ultimately, what I hope to gain from the program is a renewed confidence in the strength, value, and ability of my teaching to reach students of all learning styles.”

Adds Matz, “I hope participating in the program will help me to be more effective as a teacher: more able to balance presenting information with sharing a genuine sense of uncertainty; more skillful in creating intellectual meeting-grounds despite differences in age, experience, or status; and with a strengthened sense of the validity of my role as a member of the educational community.”