Empowering and Supportive

Defining “Empowering and Supportive”

The following description of “Empowering and Supportive” comes from the TFELT report of June 4, 2021. In this description, “Key terms” refers to descriptive terms that were generated through TFELT’s examination of relevant research literature and iterative brainstorming and refining during MU community workshop activities during September and October 2019. For more information on this process, please see the “TFELT Process to Determine Definition and dimensions of Effective Teaching” section on the task force’s online archive of in-progress work.

Empowering and Supportive means that the instructor invites students to set and reach their learning goals. The instructor supports student success through giving constructive feedback, mentoring, advising, and guiding students while listening and responding to student needs. 

Key terms for this dimension include: Professional, Encouraging, Inspiring student action, Approachable 


Ames, C. (1990). Motivation: What teachers need to know. Teachers College Record, 91, 409-472.

Cavanagh, S. (2016). The spark of learning: Energizing the college classroom with the science of emotion. West Virginia University Press.

Examples of “Empowering and Supportive” Teaching

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Resources for Developing “Empowering and Supportive” Teaching

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