Practicing Pedagogy: A Discussion on Graduate and Early Career Teaching

AHA Session 29
Friday, January 3, 2020: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Riverside Ballroom (Sheraton New York, Third Floor)
Natalie Mendoza, University of Colorado Boulder
Chris Anderson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Leanna Duncan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Natalie Mendoza, University of Colorado Boulder
Amy O'Keefe, Meredith College
Yidi Wu, Saint Mary’s College

Session Abstract

Graduate and early career history instructors occupy positions fraught with both possibility and uncertainty. Many feel great enthusiasm to share the knowledge and skills we have gained with students, and our passion and proximity to students can result in positive learning outcomes. We also frequently act as the front lines of major recruitment and enrollment retention, and our teaching skills are increasingly critical to employment opportunities in a diverse array of careers. At the same time, departments and mentors persistently offer mixed messages about investing time and effort into improving our pedagogies. How can we balance the conflicting demands of research and writing with developing pedagogical skills? What practical strategies can we use to make our teaching innovative? What are the potential rewards for our students, our departments, and our careers?

This roundtable includes graduate students and those in the early stages of teaching careers post-doctorate. The goal of this roundtable is to foster a discussion about motivations for taking teaching seriously, as well as to share practical strategies about how and where to begin a personal consideration of pedagogy. Such goals align with ongoing AHA projects, including the Career Diversity Initiative, which acknowledges teaching as a valuable skill for careers within and outside the professoriate, and the History Tuning Project, which encourages reflection on the goals of history education and ways to make our lessons more effective at meeting those goals. Panelists will address straightforward methods for incorporating a consideration of pedagogy into our teaching, how to invest in teaching even if opportunities to teach in your department are rare, how focusing on pedagogy has improved our career options, resources available to early career scholars to enrich their pedagogy, notable problems or advantages for early career teachers, and other topics which come up in discussion with the audience.

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