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Bryn Mawr College
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Dean's Certificate in Pedagogy

The Dean’s Certificate in Pedagogy is offered by the two Graduate Schools of Bryn Mawr College and administered by the Dean of Graduate Studies. All graduate and post-doctoral students who would like to develop and improve their teaching abilities and experiences are invited to participate. The program begins when a student notifies the Dean of Graduate Studies of their interest in participating.  Activities are student-driven, but are completed with faculty support and guidance. When all requirements have been met, participants schedule a meeting with the Dean of Graduate Studies to review and discuss all relevant materials.  Successful completion of the Certificate will be indicated on a student’s transcript.

Certificate Requirements:

Participate in 4 discussions or workshops sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI) or the Education Program (offered throughout the year) that afford you the opportunity to explore some fundamental pedagogical issues and approaches. Visit the TLI web site under the Graduate Student tab to see a listing of offered workshops. You can also contact Alison Cook-Sather, Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Initiative, for more information about opportunities.

2. Experiences and Reflections

Complete a total of three activities designed to encourage a better understanding of your own teaching style and areas for growth and improvement. Complete at least two activities in Group I and choose one or two activities from Group II. Alternative activities may be developed in consultation with the Dean. Additional guidance regarding record keeping will be provided.

Group I—Assessment

  • Visit three different faculty members, at least one who is outside of your department, take observation notes, and meet to discuss your observations with the faculty member. (Alison Cook-Sather,, can help you arrange these observations.)
  • If you are a T.A., arrange to have a faculty member observe your class session and give feedback on style and content. Or, videotape your class and critique it with a faculty member.
  • If you are a T.A. or have teaching experience, discuss your student evaluations, and the evaluation process, with an appropriate faculty member. Use your most recent teaching activity as a basis for this discussion.
  • If you are not a T.A., make some form of pedagogical presentation (a workshop, a demonstration, etc.) that can be observed and critiqued by a faculty member live on or videotape.  (Alison Cook-Sather,, can work with you to determine the most appropriate form for this presentation.)

Group II—Skills (select one or two activities to be completed with a faculty mentor)

  • Develop a course (choose readings, devise assignments, write syllabus, prepare 3 lectures with audio-visual or other enhancements).
  • Develop a non-lecture activity. For example, design a laboratory exercise, a language drill section, a conversation section, or a web-based exhibit.
  • Write a series of exams, problem sets, or other homework assignments (with solutions) for a class of your choosing.
  • Be responsible for an ongoing seminar series, or develop and initiate a new series.

3. Portfolio: Documentation

Create a teaching portfolio to document and reflect on your teaching experiences. You must include an artifact representation your completion of each of the requirements for the Dean's Certificate in Pedagogy. All artifacts except the teaching philosophy and the self-assessment must be paired with a critical reflection in which you discuss the significance of the experience the artifact represents and the implications for you as a teacher. (N.B. One of the workshops offered through the TLI focuses on portfolio development). One possible set of entries might be:

a. A personal teaching philosophy
b. Samples of insights you have gained from observing and talking with other faculty
c. Course evaluations
d. Syllabus of a course you have developed
e. Representative assignments and evaluations
f. Examples of non-lecture activities
g. Self-assessment: Reflection and projection


Note:  Many of these requirements (Background/Basics, Group II of Experiences and Reflections, and the Portfolio) can be fulfilled or at least begun if you enroll in Education 301: Curriculum & Pedagogy Seminar (offered every fall semester); the assignments for that course can be tailored to allow you to meet all of the above criteria for the Dean’s Certificate. If you complete the course it will also appear on your transcript. Contact Alison Cook-Sather ( if you are interested in this option.

The workshops are taught by Professor Alison Cook-Sather.  Please email her ( by Monday if you plan to attend that Thursday's workshop.

List of workshops for 2014-2015 can be found here