Contact Us
Alison Cook-Sather
TLI Coordinator
Jessica Hollinger Vinson
Coordinator, Staff Education
Betsy Cancelliere
Administrator of the Teaching and Learning Institute
Graduate students

For Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student enrolled at Bryn Mawr College in Arts & Sciences or the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, you are invited to participate in the following TLI forums:

  1. Pedagogy Workshops/Course
  2. The BMC Time Bank

1. Pedagogy Workshops/Course

The cross-disciplinary pedagogy workshops/course offered through The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute consist of a series of interactive, two-hour sessions for graduate students interested in exploring and developing pedagogical conceptions and approaches. The sessions are offered every other week during the Fall and Spring semesters. They can be taken as stand-alone sessions or as a yearlong credit-bearing course (Social Work B508B).

The workshops/course aim to create a space for reflection, analysis, questioning, and planning. You will draw on your experiences as students, T.A.s, and teachers across a range of disciplines and at different stages of your formal preparation, and you will complete templates, respond to critical questions, and generate questions about and plans for effective teaching practice.

These workshops count toward the Dean’s Certificate in Pedagogy, which is overseen by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The Pedagogy Workshop Series, Fall 2013, meets Thursdays: 9 am to 11 am
Location: SWSR 221 - Hathway

 Workshop Listing

The Pedagogy Workshop Series, Fall 2013
Thursdays: 9 am to 11 am; Location: SWSR 221 - Hathway

For this workshop we read two chapters from Education Is Translation: A Metaphor for Change in Learning and Teaching. We use these chapters to ground a discussion of what we understand the process of education to be and how as teachers we can facilitate learning according to the definition(s) of education we generate.

This workshop will explore some of the basic understandings we have developed about how people learn, including: (1) Knowledge is constructed, not received; (2) Mental models change slowly; (3) Questions are crucial; and (4) Caring is crucial.

In this workshop we will explore four key questions from What the Best College Teachers Do: (1) What should my students be able to do intellectually, physically, or emotionally as a result of their learning? (2) How can I best help and encourage them to develop those abilities and the habits of the heart and mind to use them? (3) How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality, and progress of their learning? and (4) How can I evaluate my efforts to foster that learning?

This workshop focuses on designing prompts or exercises that invite students to make conscious and explicit their starting points in a conversation, activity, assignment, etc. and what kinds of courses and activities keep students engaged. We will draw on Learning from the Student’s Perspective: A Sourcebook for Effective Teaching, your own experiences, and input from Student Consultants who work through the TLI.

Teaching styles have much to do with assumptions and beliefs about what teaching is. Styles are not strategies anyone can simply adopt; rather, you need to create a style that is congruent with your commitments and personality. In this workshop we spend some time exploring different people’s notions of teaching, and then we discuss what kinds of teaching styles you might be comfortable developing.

 October 10: COURSE DESIGN
This workshop gives you the opportunity to explore individually and as a group three key questions in course design from Understanding by Design: (1) What are the learning goals of the course? (2) What will count as acceptable evidence of student learning? and (3) What activities, sequence, and resources are best suited to accomplish your goals? Please spend some time prior to the workshop addressing those three questions about a course you teach or plan to teach, and we will build on your responses during the workshop.

Grading is embedded within the larger frame/context of how one conceptualizes (consciously or unconsciously) course content, student learning processes and participation, and assessment. A kind of formative assessment used throughout the semester to inform instruction as well as guide learners through the course, grading ultimately becomes a summative assessment that measures what you and students have achieved together by the end of the course. This workshop will help you think through grading for a course you teach or plan to teach.

What kind of classroom climate is open to learning in various ways and supportive of diverse learners? This workshop will explore the meanings of safety, risk, and trust in relationship to pedagogy and, drawing on a report from a project called “Toward More Culturally Responsive Classrooms,” help participants think about to create a classroom environment conducive to learning for all students.

In this workshop we will discuss your experiences as students to identify issues to consider in planning; analyze lesson plans and generate planning approaches to consider; and develop an actual draft of a lesson plan based on principles and practices discussed in the workshop.

 November 14: LECTURES
Lectures can be an effective way to convey a lot of information in a short time, but just because a teacher says something doesn’t mean a student learns it. In this workshop we will explore the purpose of lectures, your own positive and negative experiences with lectures, strategies for creating, delivering, and assessing lectures generated by both bi-co faculty and students across the divisions and disciplines, and your hopes for and concerns about yourself as a lecturer.

Critical theorist Paulo Freire argued that only through dialogue can there be real communication and only through communication can there be genuine education. In this workshop, we will explore the purpose of class discussions, your own positive and negative experiences with class discussions, strategies for facilitating good class discussion generated by both bi-co faculty and students across the divisions and disciplines, and your concerns about yourself as a facilitator of class discussions.

In this workshop we will pull together the various ideas and practices we have explored over the course of the year. Please come prepared to share (1) What you have done or seen done that has been (a) effective and (b) ineffective in establishing a constructive learning environment in a class and (2) Some thoughts on how you would draw on the different concepts and approaches we have explored in our pedagogy workshops to create the kind of learning environment you want in your classroom.

For this workshop, bring all your notes from workshops you have attended and other work you have done through these workshops. We will discuss ways to organize and build your portfolio, and we will focus specifically on writing a statement of philosophy. Please draft a statement before you attend with the goal of revising it during and subsequent to the workshop.


Contact Alison Cook-Sather, Coordinator of The Andrew W. Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute,

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2. BMC Time Bank

Information about the Time Bank