“The mission of the Research & Development Division is:
... to conduct military research and faculty development to prepare future USAF leaders for the challenges of contemporary warfare.
To accomplish this mission, the Research & Development Division emphasizes the involvement of each faculty member as an active scholar and learning-focused teacher in the field of MSS.
The Department of Military & Strategic Studies focuses on research and scholarly participation to improve both the content and delivery of cadet instruction. Course materials are upgraded by faculty as well as providing additions to textbooks, work with collaborative learning techniques, increased use of computer-interactive instruction and testing, and development of the MSS extensive learning laboratories. Faculty members pursue individual research interests in fields of study related to the Department's core purposes and to their own professional specialties. Past research has covered space-related issues, military service culture, environmental security, and educational modeling, contributing to faculty advancement, curriculum improvement, and to the field of Military & Strategic Studies.
In addition to faculty research, cadet research is required, to varying detrees, in every course. Emphasis is placed on locating and identifying scholarly sources of all types (books, disciplinary journals, and web resources, to name a few) and are essential to their successful scholarly writing. In some cases, cadets are required to develop comprehensive annotated bibliographies, accomplish literature reviews, and develop scholarly arguments, always engaging analysis, synthesis and evaluation of data collected.
Faculty Development Program
Our efforts to develop faculty to achieve the utmost in subject matter expertise, relevance, and educational delivery are central to our discipline’s contribution to the Academy mission. The Department of Military & Strategic Studies commits itself to excellence in instruction and development of instructional materials, as well as an ever-deepening understanding of the context, theory, and application of military and strategic power. Because of our interdisciplinary character, we do not task a single individual with this duty. Rather, this is the duty of all DFMI faculty members. To achieve these goals, senior faculty members throughout the department deliver relevant opportunities to improve education theory, strategy, and techniques, as well as depth of military and strategic studies content. Division Chiefs ensure their assigned faculty meets faculty development requirements. The Director of Curriculum Integration enables integration of the Military & Strategic Studies curriculum across the Academy curriculum.
Providing new faculty with a firm foundation to enter the classroom for the first time begins with a three-week New Faculty Orientation, conducted each summer. This introduces newcomers to the U.S. Air Force Academy, its organizational structure, facilities, opportunities, and commitment to the mission. Topics introduced include learning focused education, cognitive mapping, teaching vs. training, technology in the classroom, new instructor survival guide, acquaintance with the current curriculum in the Department, core curriculum, learning laboratories, grading subjective material, lesson preparation, the first day of class, and hints from a panel of experienced faculty about expectations, pitfalls, and tips for success.
During each semester, our department delivers a multi-day Faculty Development program. As with our past years’ DFMI Faculty Development Series, this semester we seek to balance improvement in education with enrichment of our disciplinary content. Moreover, we hope to make attending various types of professional faculty development activities useful while addressing your personal teaching and research interests. In that spirit, the Department of Military and Strategic Studies Faculty Development Program attempts to provide greater flexibility in choosing content addressing your own professional needs and goals.
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