CID Summer 2005 Convening: Developing Effective Teachers

Topic 1: Ready to Teach

The Ohio State University-History

This Snapshot describes how the doctoral program in history at The Ohio State University helps new teachers develop a vision of their teaching that enhances their readiness to teach.

In order to design and teach their courses, new teachers must imagine ideal classrooms that reflect their vision of how students learn. The development of this vision (sometimes called a "teaching philosophy") may be informal and idiosyncratic or highly structured and carefully mentored.

Ohio State University Department of History

Summary Description

We have a four-point structure to guide our graduate students through the art of teaching and to socialize them into the profession.

Pedagogical material is focused within:

a year-long course required for all first-year Teaching Associates, addressing topics such as organizing effective discussion sections, techniques of grading and presentation, the role of a textbook, theories of learning and diversity in the classroom and

the Departmental course on historiography, helping students articulate the variety, procedures and limitations of "history."

Practical experience involves a progression of assignments culminating after candidacy exams in complete responsibility for survey courses. Faculty serve as mentors throughout.

Exposure outside the Department, particularly in OSU's Preparing Future Faculty Program.

OSU Preparing Future Faculty Program

The Goldberg Program for Excellence in Teaching
The Goldberg Program for Excellence in Teaching


The fourth element is the wealth of resources we make available:

syllabi and files of textbook evaluations and other course information

a booklet of guidelines and tips for TAs

seminars and colloquia

University teaching development resources

visits by groups of publisher representatives

encouragement of faculty actively to train TAs in their duties.

Yet the heart of the many resources we offer to our graduate students as teachers lies in the Department's Goldberg Program for Excellence in Teaching.

This website page lists the major elements of the Program, which is directed by Dr. David Staley.

Goldberg Program

The three enterprises
The three enterprises

This "wiring diagram" indicates how the three key initiatives of the Program interact to reinforce and invigorate one another.

The outreach elements of the Program include the History Teaching Center, composed of HistoryWORKS, HistoryWORKS II and History in the Heartland. These are all U.S. Department of Education funded partnerships with our Department, the Ohio Historical Society and school districts in the city and central Ohio areas.

For further information, click twice on the link below.

Goldberg Program

Goals for Students

be comfortable with and competent to discuss a variety of methods, contents, contexts, viewpoints and cultures

intelligently read primary sources in the language and style of the time in which they were generated and convey the living sense of those materials to students

handle new technologies and the opportunities they offer for teaching as well as research.

construct unique and reliable interpretations of the past in the classroom

place a variety of arguments and conclusions before their students

skillfully convey basic and advanced information and interpretations

communicate with broader publics and make connections among these

understand the methodological and ethical norms of the profession, and abide by them in all endeavors related to students.

Program Context

We historians are in the context business: our fundamental concern is with the changing contexts of human existence and interaction over the past 7,000 years. We believe that all human experience and interaction are deeply historical.

The teaching elements of our Graduate Program are designed less to download information than to replace an empty mind with an open one.

Teaching is a traditional element of "scholarship." The difference between teaching and research lies in the depth of documentation and interpretation appropriate to a classroom or professional audience.

Many of the same communications strategies are used in both venues. Students need to respond to questions that animate an audience, defend their choices and conclusions, and face critique with poise--in person or on the page.

Students must also be able to develop and pass on research techniques to graduate students of their own. Teaching and research/publication are both about asking intelligent questions. They are thus partners in our Graduate Program.


Kevin Boyle, a Department colleague who won this year's National Book Award for Arc of Justice, reflects in a media-player video clip on the relation between his teaching and his research.

In both, he tells us, what matters is the power of a story.

Click on the link below.

Kevin Boyle

How Do We Know?

We monitor the progress of our students throughout the process of honing their teaching skills:

faculty prepare reports on the graders and discussion section leaders

advisors serve as resource persons for the Small Section Leaders

University student evaluations in every class

University Faculty and Student Development offers videotaping and professional evaluators

Department teaching award to a TA each year

University annual Outstanding Teaching Associate award program.

We keep track of alumni, and seek informal feedback from colleagues elsewhere. The word in the hiring market is that our students shine in relation to the competition, but we have no formal means of independent evaluation. Perhaps we should develop one.

CID Leadership Team
CID Leadership Team

Unanswered Questions

Our proposed changes were formally adopted by the Department in May and June.

The CID Team will remain in existence another year to consider patterns of change in the profession and look for ways to anticipate developments over the coming decade.

The Goldberg Program offers us a unique opportunity to explore the impact of information technologies in the classroom and in research.

In teaching: beyond video games and reenactments

historical simulation as a form of "lab exercise"

from tourists to travelers.

In research: visualization techniques becoming commonplace in other fields

GIS programs to layer statistical data and then "see" or "mine" that data

architecture reconstruction programs and studies in material culture

possibilities both for research and for our graduate education.

New program opportunities:

an M.A. or Ph.D. field in "new media" history.

Contact Information

Alan Beyerchen, Graduate Studies Chair and Leader of CID Leadership Team

Melissa Guy, Graduate Student member of CID Leadership Team

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Terms of Use - Privacy Policy