Isbister selected as Wisconsin Teaching Fellow

July 22, 2014

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Dr. Dong Isbister

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Dong Isbister, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, has been selected by the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development to serve as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program gives participants at different points in their careers the opportunity to contemplate the nature of their teaching and their students’ learning and to develop a network of gifted teacher-scholars throughout the UW System.

“I was very honored and excited to be selected as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow,” said Isbister. “My dream is to improve my teaching craft, skills and performance, which is a lifelong process. This is a great opportunity that will help me realize my dream.”

Isbister began teaching at UW-Platteville in fall 2013. She teaches Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies; Space, Place and Gender; and History of Feminist Thought. In the fall, she will teach a new course, Black Women/Feminism in the U.S.

Isbister said she places her teaching and research into a broader framework of global and transnational feminism and weaves together multiple disciplinary approaches in the classroom. She has a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in women’s studies, where she focused on culture and representation as well as global and transnational feminism.

As a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow, Isbister will share ideas and best practices in education in a series of institutes and seminars with colleagues across the UW System while researching a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning topic that facilitates increased student learning in the classroom.

Isbister’s project will focus on team-based learning in her Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies course, which includes units on difference and inequality; gender socialization and education; women and work; women, reproduction and motherhood; women and the body; gender and violence; global perspectives, and more.

The project will demonstrate how students relate to existing and learned knowledge, connect it with a selected topic of interest, apply it and share it with the general public. She and the students will use a social media platform to create a website of issues of common interest within specific units of study that will enable them to integrate their research and collaboration, measure it and then share it with others online.

At the end of the semester, students will write a reflective essay about collaborative and team-based learning and explain their contributions. Isbister will present the results of the project at a poster session in Green Lake, Wis., in April and also hopes to have them published in a professional journal that focuses on feminist teaching.

“The ultimate goal is to help students relate, connect, apply and implement what they have learned,” said Isbister. “Using technology and media is an excellent way to engage students in the learning process. Once the students are actively engaged, it is easier for them to understand and relate to the issues they are learning about and then apply what they have learned to their own lives. The end result of this active learning process: students are more aware and more empathetic to the issues and challenges that people face.”

As part of the fellowship, Isbister attended Faculty College in Richland Center, Wis., in May and a one-week Summer Institute in Madison, Wis., in June, which she said gave her additional ideas about teaching effectively, both in content and pedagogy. She will meet with other Fellows and Scholars in January and April, complete a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project, maintain an online poster of the project throughout the year, participate in a public presentation of the project at OPID’s Annual Spring Conference and complete a final report evaluation.

Contact: Dr. Dong Isbister, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, (608) 342-7338, isbisterd@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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