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PhD Unlimited Hosts Statement of Teaching Philosophy Workshop

dsc04839-1How do you write an effective teaching statement? On Tuesday, November 29, Kem Saichaie led a PhD Unlimited workshop for twenty graduate students and postdoctoral scholars preparing their teaching portfolios for an academic job search. Saichaie, the Associate Director of the Center for Educational Effectiveness, counseled workshop participants to anchor their teaching statements around a central question: “When you thinking about learning and teaching at the undergraduate level, what is important to you?”

Reflecting a wide spectrum of disciplinary and individual priorities, participants expressed disparate views about the philosophy of teaching. While many humanists spoke of encouraging their students to use the classroom to reflect on their own cultural background and life experiences, some participants from STEM fields emphasized the improvement of students’ problem-solving skills. Nearly all agreed that teachers ought to encourage critical thinking—a trite, but useful principle common to most philosophies of teaching.

Saichaie encouraged participants to write about teaching with brevity and concision. For most academic job applications, a statement of teaching philosophy should consist of two pages at most. “I have read statements that are eight or nine pages in length,” Saichaie said. “No search committee wants to read something that long!” Despite his experience with the genre, Saichaie admits that writing his own personal teaching statement involved years of drafting, revision, and receiving input from colleagues. He encouraged workshop participants to solicit feedback widely, and to take advantage of resources offered by the Center for Educational Effectiveness.

The Center for Educational Effectiveness offers free, confidential consultations on crafting statements of teaching philosophy. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can work with a teaching assistant consultant to develop or refine their statements. Request a consultation today at http://cee.ucdavis.edu/teaching-support/consultations.html.

Workshop Handouts:

PhD Unlimited Winter Workshops

Save the date! The Davis Humanities Institute hosts career development workshops for graduate students on the last Tuesday of every month.

Tuesday, January 31: Humanists@Work – UC Partnerships

Meg Sparling, a doctoral candidate in English at UC Davis and a member of the Humanists@Work Advisory Committee, will talk about the UC Humanists@Work initiative and ways that students can connect to those resources as well as creating and participating in a local chapter.

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to Becky Wilson at rjwilson@ucdavis.edu

Tuesday, February 28: Conferencing 101!

From preparation and networking to turning a conference paper into an article submission, Paul Reitter, Director of the Humanities Institute at The Ohio State University will lead you through best practices to make the most out of the academic conference.

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to Becky Wilson at rjwilson@ucdavis.edu

–Michael Accinno, Ph.D.

This page was last updated: December 6, 2016



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