Teaching Certificate Program Details
Reflecting on their teaching practice through a series of seminars, workshops, and small-group discussions, participants will develop a course design project and teaching portfolio by the end of the program.
At the core of the Teaching Certificate Program are five seminars that focus on developing skills as a critically reflective instructor. Participants read literature on course design, assessment, student backgrounds, teaching methods, and evaluation.
Participants also meet quarterly in small discipline-specific groups led by Graduate Teaching Mentors to discuss the development of course design projects and receive feedback on teaching philosophies.
Over the course of the year, participants attend at least two workshops offered by the Searle Center, as well as meet on a quarterly basis with a faculty mentor to discuss teaching and learning issues.
Read more about the component of the program below or view the 2012-13 Program Syllabus [pdf].
In a workshop-style format led by Searle Center staff, participants apply teaching and learning concepts to their disciplines while engaging cross-disciplinary conversations on such topics as course design, student backgrounds, assessment, teaching methods, and evaluation.
Program participants are required to attend at least two Searle Center Graduate Workshops, which delve deeper into selected topics such as: “Teaching Tough Texts,” “Reflective Teaching: Beyond the CTEC,” “Diversity and Power in the Classroom,” and “Designing Active Learning in Your Classroom.”
Statement of Teaching Philosophy and Portfolio
A statement of teaching philosophy is an increasingly important document for the academic job market. It is a personal narrative about teaching experiences and an instructor’s views student learning in their discipline. The program provides multiple opportunities to develop a strong teaching philosophy through multiple iterations of peer feedback.
The teaching portfolio uses evidence such as lesson plans, syllabi, assessments, course evaluations (e.g. CTEC scores), and teaching observations to support the teaching philosophy and demonstrate a commitment to reflective teaching. The final requirement for the program is a completed portfolio including a statement of teaching philosophy.
Course Design Project
Participants apply ideas from program seminars and workshops to their teaching practice and design (or redesign) a course of their own. Pieces of the course design project are typically included in the teaching portfolio.
Program participants are expected to engage in a significant teaching experience while in the program. The ideal context is one that involves designing and teaching their own course, but if that option is not available, it may include co-teaching, teaching a section of a course, or delivering guest lectures.
Participants are required to obtain teaching observations from at least two sources: (1) faculty mentor; (2) a member of the Searle Center staff; or (3) a peer. If teaching their own course, a small group analysis is recommended in place of one of the two observations. Formal feedback on teaching is critical for a complete teaching portfolio.
Program participants also choose a faculty mentor who provides guidance on issues of teaching and learning in their discipline.