Many instructors putting together a teaching portfolio for tenure or promotion find themselves stumped by this question. Maybe you are still relatively new to teaching. Maybe your approach is part personal experience as a former student, part trial and error. Maybe you have found your groove, but you never actually spent any time pondering about your underlying philosophy. So what are you supposed to write in your teaching portfolio? How do you begin? Continue reading What is my teaching approach (or philosophy)? Prompts to help you identify underlying beliefs and values.
As a practicum student at McGill’s Teaching and Learning Services, I have been examining the role of reflective journals in post-secondary classrooms. Throughout the course of my research, it has come to my attention that, while they are used frequently in the instruction of disciplines like English and Theatre, reflective journals can actually be a helpful learning tool for a much wider range of subjects (Fenwick & Parsons, 2000; Stevens & Cooper, 2009). In fact, they are becoming more popular in law schools, and even in science classrooms (Fenwick & Parsons, 2000; Ogilvy, 1996). Skeptics insist that journal writing is nothing more than busy work for students and a lot of unnecessary extra effort for instructors. However, those who view journals as constructive have demonstrated that, when properly implemented, engaging students in the exercise of journal writing can be beneficial to both students and their instructors. Continue reading The benefits of reflective journal writing
Professor Madhukar Pai, Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health, wrote an insightful post ‘How can we become better teachers‘ in the February issue of Nature Microbiology. Its always great to see posts about teaching and learning appearing in mainstream research journals within a discipline. Professor Pai talks about starting small, thinking about your students, focusing on reflection and much more. He also makes many of his teaching resources available for free on his own teaching epidemiology website.