Creating cultures of excellence: Strategies and outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Research findings on effective support for learning, the development of
expertise, and the psychology of success suggest that the pursuit of excellence is teachable. Within the emerging field of research and practice termed “the scholarship of teaching and learning,” considerable effort has been made to document the practices of teachers who, by various measures, have been deemed excellent. In contrast, no effort has been made to codify how students can be trained to selfconsciously build behaviors that generate excellent outcomes. This article reports on a multi-year effort to create cultures of excellence among cohorts of graduate students. A statistical analysis of subsequent student performance on a significant, related task indicates that explicitly promoting a culture of excellence among course participants can have a positive and sustained impact on their individual practices. Comments from subsequent student reflections further support this claim. The teaching strategies reported here could be refined, replicated, and reinvented to good effect across higher education. They are also of special relevance to those delivering professional development training to early- and mid-career professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number934084
Number of pages13
JournalCogent Education
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • organizational culture
  • excellence
  • learning and teaching
  • teamwork
  • pedagogy
  • educational effectiveness
  • scholarship of teaching and learning
  • professional development

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