As teachers in the humanities and/or the social sciences, you’ve probably encountered students who have a hard time translating their reading into fruitful discussion and insightful analysis, whether in class or in their papers. Learning how to traverse the arc from reading a text, to saying something intelligent about it, to receiving and responding to an instructor’s feedback about that writing, ultimately takes years, and may happen to different students at different moments. What, then, can you achieve in just one semester? In this session, designed for both new and experienced TFs in the humanities and social sciences, we’ll borrow techniques from research on student cognition as well as Harvard’s award-winning Expository Writing curriculum to share ways in which you can help students traverse that arc. We’ll show you how to 1) draft activities and essay prompts that will help teach students how to approach course readings with purpose, 2) set up and execute class discussions based around students’ own analytical questions, 3) use low-stakes assignments to help students translate those questions into evidence-based arguments, 4) and use your (and peer) feedback to encourage them to revise their arguments.
This workshop is a part of Winter Teaching Week- a series of intensive workshops offered during J-Term in conjunction with January@GSASfor graduate student teachers at every stage, from just starting out to looking toward the job market.
Led by Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy & Practice, Derek Bok Center and Jonah Johnson, Assistant Director, Writing Pedagogies, Derek Bok Center