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Graduate Student Teaching Association to Host 10/28 Annual Pedagogy Conference

On Friday, October 28, the Graduate Student Teaching Association will present its seventh annual Pedagogy Day, which focuses on the teaching of psychology.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Professor Janie Wilson of Georgia Southern University. Other speakers include Ph.D. student Julie Hecht (Psychology) and Philip Kreniske (Ph.D. ’16, Psychology).
Rita Obeid (at right) and Anna Schwartz (below), Ph.D. students in Psychology and the co-chairs of this year’s Pedagogy Day, recently spoke to the GC about the event.

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GC: Could you discuss the importance of student-centered teaching, and why you chose it as the theme of this year’s conference?

Obeid/Schwartz: We wanted to cultivate a teaching community that emphasizes students’ active creation of knowledge over the teachers’ delivery of content.

Student-centered learning values active learning, using engaging demonstrations, activities, discussions, role plays, universal design, and backwards course design to bring out the best in one’s students by engaging them in the production of knowledge rather than treating them as passive recipients of facts.

How does the conference aim to not just deepen students’ thinking about pedagogy, but also improve the teaching of psychology in undergraduate classes?

This conference encourages the involvement from graduate students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), in addition to giving graduate students the opportunity to present and share their own interactive lesson plans as part of our Class Activity Blitz!

What will the workshops focus on this year?

Janie Wilson, president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, will tell us how she has integrated statistics and research methods into one course, and why we should all be moving towards this model.

There will be a quantitative skills workshop from Professors Rebecca Weiss and Daryl Wout (John Jay) and Ph.D. candidate Kimberley Schanz (GC/John Jay, Psychology), who will discuss ways to bring student involvement in authentic research into the classroom.

Julie Hecht and Philip Kreniske will show us the wide variety of ways that blogs can be included in the classroom as tools to engage students in psychological inquiry.

Professors Paige Fisher, Janine Buckner, Amy Hunter, and Susan Nolan of Seton Hall University will provide examples of techniques we can bring into our classrooms to help students make the transition from intuitive judgment to critical reasoning.
The day will be rounded out as graduate students from CUNY share their favorite classroom activities in the Activity Blitz.

How did this conference come about? And how has it evolved in the last six years?

This conference arose because graduate students came together and were — and are — hungry for more training in pedagogy. At some campuses, 80 percent of courses are taught by graduate students, and a graduate student can be solely responsible for teaching a class as soon as their second year with minimal training in pedagogy.
As a result, some students worked with the executive officer to create a one-day conference where students could gather and hear national experts, including CUNY’s own, talking about evidence based, cutting-edge pedagogical practices.
Over the years, Pedagogy Day has inspired many of us graduate students to level up our teaching not only by emulating the greats but by actually evaluating our own classroom effectiveness through collaborative research.

Read more about Pedagogy Day. 

Submitted on: OCT 26, 2016

Category: General GC News | Psychology | Student News