Pedagogical Training

Writing Center Fellow Training (Princeton University)

All Princeton Writing Center Fellows (both graduate and undergraduate) must attend an intensive two-day training session in September. This training instructs fellows in the Writing Center’s pedagogy of one-on-one, conference-style workshops to assist students across disciplines and at all levels in every step of the writing process — from brainstorming and research to polishing a finished paper.

McGraw Teaching Seminar* (Princeton University)

This course is open to graduate students and faculty members from all disciplines by application. The course engages participants in critical discussions of current scholarship in the fields of learning and pedagogy, with opportunities to apply new pedagogical approaches in their own teaching practice. Participants will refine their understanding of teaching as they reflect meaningfully on the approaches and critical skills gained in their own disciplines as part of a liberal arts education. Throughout the year, participants engage not only with current research and literature on a range of issues in higher education, but also discuss and apply the lessons from that material in developing strategies for inclusive classroom teaching and for assessing and reflecting on their students’ achievements. At the end of the seminar, participants draft an original syllabus, as well as a teaching statement.

Topics covered included:

  1. The Problem of Learning and Inquiry-Based Pedagogy (Oct. 16)
  2. Disciplinary Knowledge and Practices: From Novice to Expert and Back Again (Nov. 20)
  3. Course Assessment and Grading (Dec. 11)
  4. Classroom Teaching and Strategies for Active Learning  (Feb. 4)
  5. Online Course Environments and Blended Learning (Mar. 5)
  6. Putting it All Together: Integrated Course Design (Apr. 8)
  7. Writing Syllabuses and Teaching Philosophies (Apr 29)
  8. Workshop on Syllabus and Teaching Philosophy Drafts (May 6)

*To read personal reflections on individual seminars, see blog.

Princeton AI (Assistant in Instruction) Orientation

Most graduate students will teach at Princeton as Assistants in Instruction (AIs), and all who do are required to participate in a mandatory AI Orientation before they teach for the first semester. AIs are found meeting in small groups with students, leading discussions and problem solving sessions, teaching labs, consulting with students in office hours, grading and assisting in the design and delivery of courses.

The Orientation promotes effective, research-based teaching strategies specific to your discipline, helps new AIs gain information about campus resources, practice teaching and get feedback from experienced teachers, and embark on or continue their professional development as teachers.

Second Language Acquisition Pedagogy Seminar

All first-year graduate students in the French and Italian department at Princeton must take a one-semester course on second language acquisition pedagogy before being allowed to teach introductory language classes. This course not only provides graduate students with a theoretical framework for teaching foreign language, covering a wide range of methodologies, but also teaches us practical strategies for designing lesson plans, scaffolding activities, structuring class time, and incorporating authentic cultural texts and images into even a basic language course.