Winter 2020

Fundamentals of Teaching: Winter Edition

Facilitators: Julie Hanlon (CCT, & Robert Gruener (BSD,

Location: Wieboldt 310 D/E

Dates: Tuesdays 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4

Time: 1:30-3:00 pm

   Looking for an opportunity to develop and improve your teaching practices?

   Missed the Fundamentals of Teaching Series in Autumn?

Have no fear, Fundamentals of Teaching Winter Edition is here! All graduate student teaching assistants and instructors from across all Schools and Divisions, particularly those new to teaching at the University of Chicago, are invited to attend.

In four interdisciplinary sessions, we will collaboratively discuss and explore the following questions:

  1. How do we present course content at a level that is appropriate for our students and builds upon their prior knowledge?
  2. What are best practices for creating useful and transparent learning objectives?
  3. How do we create an inclusive classroom that actively engages all students and enhances student learning?
  4. How can we assess students in a way that is constructive and facilitates learning?

During each of these sessions, we will explore key topics in teaching, engage in activities that will allow you to apply these concepts, and address any current questions or concerns you may have about teaching. 

RSVP Via Eventbrite Required:


Autumn 2019

Fundamentals of Teaching in the Sciences: The Science Teacher's Toolkit
Fundamentals of Teaching in the Social Sciences
Fundamentals of Teaching in the Humanities
Fundamentals of Teaching Mathematical Sciences
Fundamentals of Teaching in the Social Sciences with an Emphasis on Quantitative Methods
Fundamentals of Teaching Literature


Fundamentals of Teaching in the Sciences: The Science Teacher’s Toolkit

Facilitators: Whitney Fowler (PME, and Robert Gruener (BSD,
Location: William Eckhardt Research Center (ERC) 201B (October 10th, 17th, 24th) and 301B (October 31st)
Dates: Thursdays, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31
Time: 4:00-5:30pm

Who Should Attend: Graduate students and postdocs in the BSD, PME, or PSD. This is for anyone who is teaching, expects to teach science in the future, or is intrigued about the evidence-based practices behind teaching and learning.  

Why Should I Come? The research-supported methods in these workshops from the literature on cognitive science should help past, present, and future graduate student and postdoc instructors...

  1. Optimize student learning, performance, and retention
  2. Design lesson plans and assessments efficiently and effectively
  3. Develop competence as an authority figure in a classroom setting
  4. Improve future teaching with feedback strategies and professional development skills

Join us as we discuss common issues that instructors encounter when teaching in the sciences.  The workshops will focus on applying research-supported pedagogical principles to address issues frequently encountered in STEM classrooms, such as student engagement and interest, student learning and performance, instructor authority and autonomy, navigating academic hierarchy, and balancing teaching with research commitments. Through peer-to-peer discussions, lectures, and facilitated activities, each workshop should arm participants with new pedagogical tools and skills to apply in an educational setting and to fuel professional development. Come and see what there is to learn about the science of teaching.

RSVP via Eventbrite required:


Fundamentals of Teaching in the Social Sciences

Facilitators: Andrea Bartoletti (Political Science, and Helen Lee (Comparative Human Development,
Location: Wieboldt 102
Dates: Tuesdays 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29
Time: 2:30-4:00 pm

This series provides guidance and support for prospective and current teaching assistants and teaching Interns. Over the course of four 90-minute sessions, participants will develop a set of core teaching tools to help them facilitate a rigorous, engaging, and inclusive learning environment for all students. Discussions will cover key topics in teaching, such as understanding how students learn, activating students’ prior knowledge, crafting effective learning objectives, employing active learning strategies, and developing assessments, activities, and assignments that facilitate your students’ learning. These workshops are designed for those teaching in the social sciences, but are open to any graduate student interested in improving their teaching practice.

Our four sessions will be focused on:

  1. Employing active and inclusive teaching strategies
  2. Setting learning objectives and designing assignments
  3. Planning activities for your sessions
  4. Providing feedback on course assessments

RSVP via Eventbrite required:


The Fundamentals of Teaching in the Humanities

Facilitators: Elizabeth Sartell (Divinity School, and Chelsie May (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations,
Location: Pick 218
Dates: Mondays 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28
Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

In community with other new grad student instructors, teaching assistants, and course assistants, we’ll work together to develop a set of teaching skills you can apply to any humanities classroom. Specifically, this series will focus on the following topics:

  • Week 1: What is my role as a teacher? This week, we’ll discuss how people learn; by the end of the session, you’ll be able to create teaching strategies that align with active learning principles.
  • Week 2: How do I help all students feel like they belong and want to come to class? This week, we’ll discuss inclusive teaching and active learning strategies; by the end of the session, you’ll have some techniques to help foster an inclusive climate along with ways to increase student motivation.
  • Week 3: How can I teach an entire class period? Or: How do I fit all of this material into only one class period? This week, we’ll discuss student-centered learning and class planning; by the end of the session, you’ll be able to create inclusive, SMAART learning objectives for a class session.
  • Week 4: How do I grade transparently and effectively? This week, we’ll discuss how to assess your students’ learning and how to help them assess your teaching; by the end of the session, you’ll know how to give "wise" feedback in order to mitigate stereotype threat and how to solicit effective student feedback on your teaching.

While each session will focus on a specific teaching skill, each week will also include time for participants to troubleshoot any specific challenges they may be concerned about or may have encountered in their current teaching roles.

RSVP via Eventbrite required:


Fundamentals of Teaching Mathematical Sciences

Facilitators: MurphyKate Montee (Mathematics,, and Karl Schaefer (Mathematics,
Location: Eckhart Hall 117
Dates: Tuesdays 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm

What is this?
This four-session series is a chance for graduate students to meet, learn, and discuss their teaching. The sessions are run by graduate student instructors and will consist of discussions and activities geared toward reflecting on and improving your teaching practices.

Who is this for?
Graduate students and postdocs in the mathematical sciences (math, computer science, statistics, etc). These sessions will be valuable for all educators: teaching assistants, first-time teachers, experienced lecturers, and future instructors.

What will we talk about?

  • October 8: How do students learn math? How do mathematicians think about math, and how do students? How can we bridge that gap? Is lecture the best - or only - way to communicate math?
  • October 15: What does inclusivity in a math classroom look like? We’ve all heard about  “inclusive teaching “ practices in humanities fields, but how does that apply to the math classroom?  Can math be biased? How do the identities of your students influence their experience in the STEM classroom?
  • October 22: How and why do we assess math students? What is an assessment, and how can we use assessments to help our students learn? How do we construct assessments to be inclusive of all learners? How do we set clear expectations and standards?
  • October 29: What is the purpose of collegiate math? Students, teachers, and administrators all seem to have different answers: How do you manage all of these expectations? How can you get students on board with your vision?

RSVP via Eventbrite required:


Fundamentals of Teaching in the Social Sciences with an Emphasis on Quantitative Skills

Facilitators:  Elayne Teska (Comparative Human Development, and Jalisha Jenifer (Psychology,
Location: Green 104 (5848 South University Ave)
Dates: Mondays 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28
Time: 10:00-11:30 am

Are you a graduate student in the social sciences looking for advice on how to navigate your role as an intern/teaching assistant? Does your course require students to read, understand, or even produce their own empirical research? This workshop targets TAs teaching in courses  where student success is determined by mastery of quantitative skills (e.g. reading articles based on quantitative data, developing or interpreting graphs, analyzing data using statistical methods). If this describes the type of teaching you’ll be doing, please join us!


  • A four-week series of workshops designed to help you feel more confident and knowledgeable about your role in the classroom.  
  • A supportive teaching community to problem-solve issues that develop in your course.
  • Workshops will cover:
    • Methods to create an inclusive classroom environment that acknowledges and supports students’ intersectional identities and experiences
    • Activities to engage students in lectures, discussions, and labs
    • Principles on how students learn and how to track students' intellectual development to design activities, assignments and provide beneficial feedback

RSVP via Eventbrite required:


Fundamentals of Teaching Literature

Facilitators: Ella Karev (NELC, and Steven Maye (English,
Location: Cobb 112
Dates: Tuesdays 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, and 10/29
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm

In this four-week workshop, we'll help you develop a set of teaching skills that you can use in any literature classroom. You'll learn how to formulate student-centered learning objectives, lead discussions, promote an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment, productively communicate with your students about their work, and design activities that will enable them to succeed. While each workshop session will focus on a specific teaching skill, it will also include time for participants to troubleshoot any particular challenges they are concerned about or may be facing in their current teaching roles. These workshops are designed especially for those who are new to teaching at the college level, but we aim to engage participants with any level of teaching experience. 

RSVP via Eventbrite required: