This Week for Graduate Students: New Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar

by | Feb 28, 2022

Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar

In this new seminar from CTL, participants will engage in activities designed to both reflect on and experience the physical context of learning, including individual exercises, group discussions, and focused observations. Through these activities, participants will articulate dimensions of a pedagogical practice that is both emplaced (i.e., one that recognizes, leverages, and intervenes in the physical setting of learning) and embodied (i.e., one that is responsive and sensitive to the physical and sensorial contexts of cognition). CTL will accept applications for this seminar through Monday, March 21.

Dates and Times: Tuesdays: April 5, 12, 19, and 26, 12:10 – 2:00pm
Location: 212 Butler Library

This session fulfills the Advanced Track seminar requirement in the Teaching Development Program (TDP)

Intercultural Pedagogy Now: Instructor Perspectives

Join us for informal conversation with international TAs and instructors, discussing their pedagogical experiences and discoveries in US classrooms. What has been surprising about habits and assumptions around teaching that are prevalent at Columbia and among its undergraduates? How can the way they have learned to navigate cultural differences point the way to inclusive teaching techniques? We will pay particular attention to challenges and opportunities brought about by the pandemic.

Date & Time: Thursday, March 3, 12:10 – 1:25 pm
Location: 212 Butler Library
Register: here

This session counts as a pedagogy workshops in the Teaching Development Program (TDP)

Upcoming LTF Events

The 49 2021-22 Lead Teaching Fellows are running workshops and discussions in departments all around Columbia. These are generally advertised locally. Below are upcoming events that are open to participants beyond the LTF’s home department.

LTF events count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program.

Hosting Office Hours: Tools, Structure, Discussion

One of the most challenging parts of TAing can be holding office hours. Knowing how to structure them, how to foster discussion among students, and what to do when you don’t know an answer can all be challenging parts of running an office hours session. This event will be discussion-based and attendees will leave with tips and tricks for structuring office hours as well as how to address course content AND more personal concerns from students that come up during office hours. 

This event is open to participants from all departments and is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Rachel Cohen (E3B). 

Date and Time: Thursday, March 3, 5:00 – 6:00pm
Location: E3B Classroom, Schermerhorn Ext. 1012
Register: RSVP at this link.

Reducing Gender and Race Based Disparities in Discussion Sections

Research in political science shows that there are significant disparities by race and gender in political science classroom participation (Pollock et. al. 2011; Levintova and Staudinger 2018). In this session, students will take away two or three immediately implementable strategies for use in their discussion sections targeted at reducing these participation differences. In particular, we will talk about the importance of strategies that reduce barriers to entry, including small-group discussion and alternative forms of engagement.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Bryn McCarthy (Political Science). This workshop is open to participants from all departments.

Date & Time: Thursday, March 10, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Lindsay Rogers Room, 7th Floor IAB
Register: Email Bryn McCarthy (

Beyond the TA: Planning and Marketing Your Teaching Experiences for the Job Market

What teaching experiences will make me a competitive job candidate? How can I leverage my teaching experiences for academic and non-academic jobs? Come explore these questions with other graduate students. Whether you are a first-year graduate student looking to plan your teaching development or ready to graduate and eyeing the job market, this session will help you strategize how to make the most of your teaching experiences.

The event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Janine Birnbaum (DEES). It is open to participants form all departments, however discussion will be STEM-focused and will highlight examples from the natural sciences.

Date & Time: Thursday, March 10, 1:00 – 2:30pm
Location: Zoom
Register: Email

Giving An Effective Lecture

What makes for a good lecture? As graduate instructors, we are often called upon to give a lecture in a course we are TAing, or to give a shorter talk to kick off a seminar. In this workshop, we will discuss how to pick a good lecture topic, make sure students are prepared, and keep them engaged during your talk. Instructors will come away with this workshop with useful tools to use the next time they are asked to give a lecture.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Sarah Hedgecock (Religion). This workshop is open to participants from all departments.

Date & Time: Thursday, March 10, 4:00 – 5:00pm
Location: Zoom
Register: here