The McGraw Teaching Seminar
Teagle Foundation Grant for 2012-2015
The McGraw Center, in partnership with the Graduate School, have won $125,000 from the Teagle Foundation to support our mission to expand and enhance our successful Teaching Seminar.* Over the next three years, we will expand participation in the seminar across a wider range of departments in order to extend conversations about effective teaching across our campus. A larger version of our current interdisciplinary seminar will convene twice a semester while smaller disciplinary groups will meet once a month. Funding will be used to support stipends for graduate student and faculty participants as well as collaborative ventures with colleagues at peer institutions as well as travel to related conferences for graduate student participants.
Scholarly Approaches to Teaching and Learning
A Seminar for Graduate Students and Faculty
The McGraw Seminar on Teaching is a year-long opportunity for graduate students and faculty participants to engage collaboratively with current research on a range of issues in teaching and learning in higher education. Based on the current scholarship on teaching, the seminar provides a unique context for participants to have sustained conversations in which they can inquire and reflect on the goals and processes of their teaching and then draw on the literature and our discussions as they design or redesign courses, carry out their teaching, and assess their students' learning.
The seminar addresses a number of issues related to graduate training in the research-oriented culture at Princeton. Graduate students carry out many instructional functions as Assistants in Instruction (AIs), but university faculty design and teach all undergraduate courses. Further, teaching is rarely held to the same methods of explicit and common inquiry, standards, and rigor as disciplinary research. To address these gaps in the preparation of our graduate students for their current roles as mentors and instructors of undergraduates and as future faculty, The McGraw Center and The Graduate School formed this year-long seminar.* Seminar participants typically include 12 graduate students and several faculty from across the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural and Life Sciences and Engineering and it is led by McGraw Center professional staff.
In the Fall semester of the McGraw Teaching Seminar, monthly meetings consist of discussions of readings aimed at identifying the complexities inherent in undergraduate learning within their disciplines and the challenges these pose for teaching. Based on the research on student learning, seminar workshops provide a context for participants to reassess their teaching practices and to begin developing new teaching plans and principles. In the Spring semester, graduate fellows present issues and questions that arise from their own concurrent teaching experience and work to identify and promote general and discipline-specific ways of learning, student engagement strategies, and effective assessment methods. Graduate participants will design a course syllabus and write a statement of teaching philosophy that draw on the seminar
The primary goal of this Seminar is to enable graduate student participants to draw on pedagogical research and literature to inform teaching goals and strategies that will enhance their students’ learning. Participants acquire and enhance their own language for analyzing, assessing and describing their students’ learning. They also learn to set focused course goals, create a syllabus, and plan assignments, exams, and assessments as well as use course management systems and consider new digital and online tools that enhance student learning.
*Generous support from The Teagle Foundation enabled The McGraw Center to launch our first pilot seminar in 2011-2012.
- The Problem of Learning and Inquiry-Based Pedagogy
- Disciplinary Knowledge and Practices: From Novice to Expert and Back Again
- Teaching and Learning: Intellectual Acts and Social Practices
- Course Assessment and Grading
- Teaching With Media and the Media of Learning
- Putting it All Together: Designing Courses and Writing Teaching Philosophies
- Looking Ahead: Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century