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HISTPHD-L  October 2009

HISTPHD-L October 2009

Subject:

Re: Some ideas/concerns

From:

Jennifer Levasseur <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jennifer Levasseur <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 18:07:44 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (98 lines)

Certainly undergrad discussion sections were taught by PhD students at  
big universities. I went to Michigan and I can't remember seeing the  
actual professor teach more than during he lecture portion. Grad  
student assistants (ours fought for that title and better benefits as  
they were unionized I think, and held a strike) always lead discussion  
sections and were mainly responsible for grading.

I don't teach but would be supportive of anything to get those of you  
the experience you need for the job market.

Jennifer

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 16, 2009, at 5:42 PM, Jenny Reeder <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Good points, Lee Ann. I especially appreciate your point about how  
> our department is especially approachable. The minor field exam is  
> another good example. I really think we can have an educated, well- 
> thought-out proposal for them if we collect good information.
>
> A couple of clarifications/responses:
>
> I would love to be able to teach my own section. And perhaps leading  
> a discussion section would be good preparation for that.
>
> I know when I got an MA at ASU (albeit in a different department),  
> all grad students, MAs and PhDs, had the opportunity of teaching our  
> own sections. I taught Public Speaking and Small Group Communication  
> and had a great experience. I know advanced PhD students could teach  
> upper-level courses. I think Royce said there were students in the  
> ASU history department who taught their own sections.
>
> People from other schools, what have you seen?
>
> Lee A Ghajar wrote:
>> Hi, Jenny.  These are great questions. Just looking at the ideas of  
>> TAs teaching 100 level courses, a few  other questions come to  
>> mind.  First, just to clarify--are you talking about teaching  
>> discussion sessions or, in fact, the course itself?   What's the  
>> situation at other schools?  And last for the moment, and off the  
>> top--I am thinking the budget may kick in here; I wonder if it's  
>> less expensive to hire an adjunct than a grad student.  Anyone know  
>> about that?
>>
>> Re changes: We seem to have a ver approachable deparmtent, and when  
>> PhD students have worked on particular problems recently--such as  
>> sitting in on and informally interviewing prospective professors,  
>> and having representatives on the faculty grad committee--the  
>> people who made it happen  went armed with facts and precedent. So  
>> changes are definitely do-able.
>>
>> Best, Lee Ann
>> p.s. Although Jeremy taught Clio II the semester Paula Petrik was  
>> on sabbatical, he wasn't the official professor since it was a grad  
>> class and apparently the PhD is requisite for that.  Someone else's  
>> name filled in the blank.
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Jenny Reeder <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Friday, October 16, 2009 4:25 pm
>> Subject: Some ideas/concerns
>>
>>
>>> Hello, friends,
>>>
>>> In talking with a few of you, I've been able to formulate my  
>>> thoughts about some concerns with our program that I thought I  
>>> would raise here. I'd love your feedback--do you have similar  
>>> concerns? and what do you think we can do to make some good changes?
>>>
>>> How do you all feel about teaching experience? Is it important to  
>>> you? Do you feel like we have opportunities here to make ourselves  
>>> marketable for tenure-track positions after graduation? Do you  
>>> think we should be able to teach lower-level courses, like History  
>>> 100? Or even courses that fit our specific interest areas?
>>>
>>> I'm TAing for History 100 this semester, and the opportunity has  
>>> given me an entirely different view of possibilities (I've been  
>>> working at CHNM for the previous 3 years). While it's kind of a  
>>> pain to grade, I appreciate the experience. Now, though, I want  
>>> teaching experience. Is there a reason why we can't teach Western  
>>> Civ? Or American survey courses? It seems like it would actually  
>>> save the university money from hiring adjuncts, plus provide more  
>>> support to PhD students, plus make us more marketable for tenure- 
>>> track positions after graduation. I know some of you lead  
>>> recitations, but aren't there only two of you (Steve & Nona)? Can  
>>> more people do that? And is anybody (besides Jeremy with Clio 2)  
>>> teaching? Or can we only teach outside GMU?
>>>
>>> What say you all?
>>>
>>> Jenny
>>>
>>>

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