Graduate Teaching Fellows design and implement a discipline-specific project that contributes to the pedagogical development of graduate students in their department.
Miguel Bessa, Mechanical Engineering
I am conducting short interviews with Mechanical Engineering (ME) faculty in the interest of assessing the general importance of teaching in the careers of both faulty and graduate students in the discipline. The goal is to understand if there is a mismatch between faculty and student's interests in being well-taught and in teaching well. The interviews focus on faculty’s personal experiences in this matter and also attend to the current ways graduate students in ME are prepared for teaching in the department.
Janet Bourne, Music Theory and Cognition
I will hold three workshops over the year addressing challenges TAs face teaching music classes. Also, I am creating an online compendium of musical examples that TAs can use in music theory, aural skills and music history courses
Kyle Burke, History
My project has two parts. First, I am leading a series of teaching workshops that apply the methods and concepts introduced in the Searle Graduate Teaching Certificate Program to the discipline of history. These workshops feature various faculty members and advanced graduate students, and focus on teaching portfolios, course design, learning objectives, techniques for leading effective discussion sections and lectures, and strategies for teaching writing in history classes. Second, I am gathering new materials from current history PhD students to update the department’s teaching binder, a 200-page resource that includes advice on teaching, grading, and classroom management as well as sample syllabi, lesson plans, lecture outlines, grading rubrics, evaluation methods, and other materials.
Tracy Dobie, Learning Sciences
This project is designed to address the issue of STEM graduate student involvement in teaching and learning programs at Northwestern by taking a community organizing approach. By working from the bottom up and beginning by speaking with graduate students in STEM fields, I hope to a) develop relationships with students in various STEM departments and b) think about how Searle and CIRTL can better serve and involve STEM graduate students by building on the experiences and perspectives of STEM graduate students themselves. I plan to produce a report of my findings but also begin to create a stronger community of STEM graduate students and build more ties between the graduate students and Searle/CIRTL.
Kate Dugan, Religious Studies
My project aims to increase specific conversations between TAs about their own teaching, and to provide TAs an opportunity to receive feedback about their teaching through departmental teaching observations. Additionally, this project includes apanel discussion with faculty members to share their experience in teaching--best practices, how they learned them, and challenges they face.
Gözde Erdeniz, Political Science
My disciplinary project mainly revolves around my role as the coordinator of the teaching committee in the Department of Political Science. That work involves advising a group of teaching assistants on how to fulfill the requirements to obtain the departmental teaching certificate and developing and executing an expansion plan for the department's teaching resources website, which is currently sparsely populated.
Faye Gleisser, Art History
My discipline-specific project will be two-pronged: Based on the voiced concerns of my peers, I will offer a workshop focusing on evaluation of student learning and graduate student teaching in art history in the Spring quarter. The workshop will provide participants with several in-class exercises that will help them collect data on their success and accessibility as teachers, in a manner that frames the experience and process of teaching as part of and not separate from one’s role as a researcher in graduate school. The second part of my project will offer a different approach, what I'm calling the “Coffee Shop Check In.” During the winter quarter, I am going to schedule informal meetings with as many TAs as possible in my department to check-in and find out through one-on-one conversations what their concerns and interests are as teachers in our department. The goal will be to not only assess and leave behind a “state of the field” report with the next GTF, but also encourage higher involvement at the Searle and plug the GTF position for the upcoming year.
Sarah Roth, English
My project aims to deliberately foster critically reflective teaching practice in my department by providing an ongoing institutional structure for positive and constructive discussion of pedagogical practice, reducing TA isolation and making conversation about teaching both routine and productive. This will be achieved through two initiatives: quarterly "TA salons" structured around reported needs and interests, and a voluntary program of peer observation which allows participants to get feedback from near peers and/or to learn about others' teaching methods, strategies, and styles.