Over the last few years I have pursued several training opportunities designed to provide me with the fundamental skills and theoretical understanding necessary for effective instruction at the university level.
Apprenticeship in College Teaching
During the 2011-2012 academic year, I participated in the Apprenticeship in College Teaching (ACT) program offered at Boston College through the Connors Family Learning Center. This program is designed to help Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows to become familiar with useful teaching techniques and to develop confidence in their abilities as instructors in higher education. To complete the ACT program, participants must take part in a variety of activities such as:
- Attend multiple teaching workshops on topics such as syllabus design, grading, the use of classroom technology, and classroom management.
- Conduct a teaching observation of an experienced faculty member
- Invite a faculty member to conduct and write up a teaching observation
- Write a course syllabus
Doctoral Teaching Practicum
In fall 2011, I completed the Doctoral Teaching Practicum (DTP) with Prof. Paul Kline. The DTP is an elective offered by the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work that is intended for students interested in preparing for responsibilities as faculty members in Social Work programs at the graduate or undergraduate level. Teaching interns are paired with a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in teaching and are mentored over the course of one semester in the context of a MSW-level Social Work course. Practicum learning objectives include:
- Development of a systematic understanding of a relevant course in the MSW curriculum
- Enhancement of personal teaching skills by both observation and actual teaching experience
- Engagement in a process of evaluation of and reflection upon the dynamics of the student-teacher relationship in the process of professional education.
Theories and Methods of Professional Education
In fall 2010, I completed Theories and Methods of Professional Education with Prof. Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich. This course focuses on the development of an understanding of the components of curriculum building and professional practice skills required by the Council on Social Work Education. With an emphasis on the needs of adult learners, this course provides both theoretical and practical content designed to enhance pedagogical skill and understanding. Specific topics examined in the course include:
- Classroom management
- Alternatives to lectures and discussion
- The use of classroom technology and web-based techniques
- Testing and grading
- Critical reflective teaching