Pedagogy in Practice Intensive at Brooklyn College (TLH CTL Project Recap)

With the generous support of the Transformative Learning in the Humanities Initiative, the Roberta S. Matthews Center for Teaching and Learning ran a Pedagogy in Practice intensive from January 10-12, 2023. The 3-day practicum offered hands-on workshops that showed participants how to put pedagogical ideas to practical use in areas such as syllabus development, assignment design, student engagement, building classroom community, and more. Anti-racist pedagogies were emphasized throughout, allowing participants to gain an understanding of the breadth and depth of this approach. Participants who completed at least five of the six workshops received a stipend and certificate of completion. Workshop leaders also received stipends. The full description of all workshops offered can be found in the addendum below.

This idea grew out of faculty experience with past workshops. While pedagogical sessions can offer great ideas, all too frequently we run into roadblocks during implementation. Pedagogy in Practice workshop leaders presented the pedagogical concept and then set aside time during the session for attendees to start working on that concept, designing elements for the classes they were scheduled to teach in the spring. If questions arose, workshop leaders were on hand to assist and troubleshoot. We also hosted freeform discussions at lunchtime, between formal workshops, to further hash out and reflect upon workshop material. Formal workshop sessions had high attendance, attracting an average of 40 participants. Lunchtime conversations were more sparsely attended, but they offered a really great opportunity to talk, get to know faculty from across departments, and toss around ideas.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Exit surveys from the week’s events indicated high levels of satisfaction with the topics presented and the hands-on time devoted to working on said topics in order to incorporate them into spring teaching. In March, the CTL ran a faculty survey for feedback on the year’s programming, and several respondents mentioned Pedagogy in Practice as a highlight.

The success of our January event inspired us to plan another Pedagogy in Practice series in June. The upcoming intensive will be geared toward faculty developing freshman seminar sections, but will be open to anyone wishing to attend, as the topics are general enough to interest all faculty. The structure will be the same as it was in January, with time set aside each day for practical implementation. Topics are being finalized, but will include sessions on the Pedagogy of Kindness; teaching to diverse learners; metacognition and course design; a how-to session on social annotation apps; strategies for effective group work; and more.

We are grateful to TLH for funding Pedagogy in Practice. The week was intense, but that intensity generated so much excitement, great conversation, and practical ideas. It also helped build community among faculty from a wide variety of departments, which can be especially difficult to accomplish in this post-Covid era. We are looking forward to making this a regular event at the CTL, and are excited to continue learning and growing as teachers.

Malka Simon, Ph.D. Director, Roberta S. Matthews CTL and Lecturer, Art

Donna Granville, Ph.D. Associate Director, Roberta S. Matthews CTL and Assistant Professor, Sociology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *