Teaching History in the University (Berkeley)

By Natalie Mendoza, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2016

Using This Syllabus: This syllabus, developed to train graduate teaching instructors at UCB, introduces graduate students to Scholarship on Teaching and Learning (SOTL) produced by and for historians.

Purpose of This Course: This course provides a model for graduate level pedagogy training designed to foster discipline specific teaching skills, and includes resources on course design, lesson planning, assessment, integrating technology into the classroom, and on creating effective teaching portfolios.

Skills This Course Addresses: Communication, Intellectual Self-Confidence, Digital Literacy

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces first-time GSIs to basic pedagogy methods and practices at the college level, and pays special attention to the particular challenges in teaching history. The learning objectives for the course are both immediate and long-term. Upon completing HIST 375, beginning GSIs will: be familiar with common problems, or "bottleneck" issues, in teaching history and suggested strategies for getting past them, as found in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL); conduct their own SoTL research into a bottleneck issue; know how to create lesson plans for discussion section; consider how to develop activities and assignments for historical thinking, including the use of technology; learn some methods for formative and summative assessment; begin to think about how to design their own courses and syllabi (i.e., pedagogical development as an instructor of record rather than as a GSI); learn various ways of assessing their teaching toward improving their pedagogy practices; and develop a preliminary teaching portfolio, including a first draft of a teaching statement. As a course that touches upon and integrates the several stages of teaching in a graduate student's career and after, HIST 375 provides a solid foundation for students to continue their pedagogical development as their teaching experience and skills become more advanced. The course also lends itself to other types of doctoral training and professional development, such as preparation for qualifying exams and the academic job market. GSIs will leave HIST 375 with a robust knowledge of and experience applying basic pedagogical methods and practices for effectively teaching history at the college level. This course meets the GSI Teaching and Resource Center's requirements for obtaining a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

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