Graduate Teacher Training
Our M.A. and Ph.D. programs develop students’ skills in both research and teaching. We feel strongly that we must prepare “whole” sociologists who excel in the creation of sociological knowledge and its transmission to undergraduate students.
Goals of Our Teacher Training Program
The aim of our Teacher Training Program is to produce highly qualified and self-reflective graduate teaching assistants and instructors of record who are competitive on the job market. Over the past two decades, our Teacher Training Program has produced teachers who effectively convey the principles of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences to undergraduate students and who awaken in their students the critical perspectives of the “the sociological imagination” that can be employed in their academic majors and their everyday lives.
Our commitment to excellence in teaching has been recognized by the Southern Sociological Society which granted the department its Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award (2016). The teaching strengths our graduates gain through our program have served them well in the faculty positions they now hold.
Components of Our Teacher Training Program
In our department, all graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) participate in an integrated program designed to develop, utilize, and implement sound pedagogical strategies. The program includes a number of components:
- a required graduate level pedagogy class for M.A. and Ph.D. students;
- individual TA training with experienced instructors for M.A. and Ph.D. students;
- opportunities for doctoral students to teach as instructor of record with guidance from faculty mentors;
- a portfolio of competencies that demonstrates both teaching and scholarly preparation as the qualifying exam for advancement to Ph.D. candidacy.
Required Graduate Level Pedagogy Class:
Both M.A. students in the first semester of their second year and incoming first year Ph.D. students in their first semester enroll in a graduate-level Teaching Sociology seminar. In this class, students read about the scholarship of teaching and learning; complete inquiry-based activities designed to help them develop and reflect upon their own pedagogical approaches; design a statement of teaching philosophy; observe classrooms from different disciplines; develop course content and a syllabi; and learn about instructional policies at the University of South Florida.
Individual TA Training with Experienced Instructors:
At the M.A. level, graduate students gain applied teaching experience by working as Teaching Assistants for large classroom-based and online sections of several courses, such as Introduction to the Social Sciences, Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Psychology, and Social Science Statistics. During their service as Teaching Assistants, students are individually mentored by very experienced instructors who specialize in TA training. Our goal is to provide as many diverse teaching experiences and contexts as possible, while meeting the needs of the department and our undergraduate students. During their two years as TAs, instructors regularly provide evaluations about their job performance and pedagogical technique. The assessment tools are grounded in literature such as Boyer’s model of the scholarship of teaching (1998), and they provide TAs with opportunities to learn, reflect, and grow. In this role, TAs typically have opportunities to conduct guest lectures in courses, learn to develop online teaching modules, and get comprehensive feedback on these activities from the instructors they work with.
Opportunities to Serve as Instructor of Record under Faculty Guidance:
After completing the Teaching Sociology seminar, Ph.D. students typically prepare and teach as instructor of record sections of one or two introductory level courses that prepare them for success on the job market (e.g. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Science Statistics). Students continue to hone their skills in teaching these courses during the years that they prepare to submit their portfolio of competencies (our department’s equivalent to comprehensive examinations).
Portfolio of Competencies with Teaching Portfolio (in lieu of Doctoral Qualifying Exam):
Rather than traditional “comps,” our rite of passage into doctoral candidacy includes a more comprehensive view of the competencies gained in the time spent in the program. In addition to academic research and writing expectations, one of the requirements of the portfolio of competencies is a completed teaching portfolio. This is a unique attribute of our program and one of which we are particularly proud! After advancing to candidacy, students sometimes add additional courses to their teaching repertoires.
Faculty and Graduate Student Participation in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
In addition to training TAs to be excellent future teachers, our faculty and graduate students in our department also contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning in the social sciences through teaching-related publications, conference presentations, workshops and invited talks on campuses across the country. Authors of publications and presentations marked with * were graduate students in our program at the time of publication or presentation.
Crawley, Sara L, with *Heather Curry, *Julie Dumois-Sands, *Chelsea Tanner, and *Cyrana Wyker. 2008. “Full-Contact Pedagogy: Lecturing with Questions and Student-Centered Assignments as Methods for Inciting Self-Reflexivity for Faculty and Students.” Feminist Teacher, 19(1): 13-30.
Crawley, S. L., Lewis, J.E. and Mayberry, M. (2008). “Introduction to Special Issue of Feminist Teacher.” Feminist Teacher, 19(1): 1-12, special issue on Feminist Pedagogies in Action: Teaching Beyond Disciplines, Sara L. Crawley, Jennifer E. Lewis, and Maralee Mayberry, guest editors.
*Engelman, D. (2018). “Making our classrooms relevant by implementing RPTS.” Teaching/Learning Matters:Newsletter of the American Sociological Association Section on Teaching and Learning, Spring, 2018.
Friedman, J. & Graham, L. (2018). A kitchen table pedagogy for interrogating whiteness through a research experience course. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 4(1): 142-153.
*Maconi, M., Green, S., & Bingham, S. (2019). “It’s not all about coursework: Narratives of inclusion and exclusion among university students receiving disability accommodations.” In Promoting Social Inclusion: Co-creating Environments that Foster Equity and Belonging (Kate Scorgie and Chris Forlin, Eds) International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Volume 13, Pp. 181-194. Bingley (UK): Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Mayberry, M. & Rose, E.C. (1999). Meeting the Challenge: Innovative Feminist Pedagogies in Action. New York: NY: Routledge
Mayberry, M. & Rees, M.N. (2009). “Feminist Pedagogy, Interdisciplinary Praxis, and Science Education.” National Women’s Studies Association Journal, (9) 1, Pp. 57-7
Yee, K. & Partin. C. (2014). “‘That’s a wrap’: Overcoming obstacles for successful video design in flipped classes.” International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2(4), 393-403.
Partin, C. & *Lauderdale, S. (2013). “Texting to the choir: Using mobile technologies to engage digital natives in higher education.” In P. Blessinger & L. Wankel (Eds.) Increasing Student Engagement and Retention with Mobile and Other New Learning Technologies, Boston, MA: Emerald Publishing Group.
King, K., Partin, C., Manibusan, H., & Sadhi, G. (2012). “If at first you don’t succeed, become a lifelong learner: Gaining capital through online higher education learning environments.” In V. Wang (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Technologies for Improving the 21st Century Workforce: Tools for Lifelong Learning, New York, NY: IGI Global Publications.
Partin, C. & King, K. (2012). Technology and its impact on higher education. In B. Ran (Ed.) Contemporary Perspectives on Technological Innovation, Management and Policy, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
Presentations, Talks, and Workshops:
Graham, L. and Friedman, J. “Tastes Like Teen Spirit: How Undergraduate Student Researchers Enhance Collaborative, Qualitative Research.” Paper Presented at the SSSI Couch-Stone Symposium, St. Petersburg, FL. March 14, 2015.
Partin, C. M., & *Geiss, C. “Aligning Curriculum with Student Career Paths: The Role of Faculty in Promoting Career Readiness.” Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference, Daytona Beach, FL. January, 2020.
*Geiss, C. & Partin, C. M. “The Value of Teaching Mixed Research Methods to Pre-Med Students in in Natural Science Disciplines.” Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference, Daytona Beach, FL. January, 2020.
Partin, C. M., *Guido, C., *Georgiev, G. G., & *Zheng, Z. “Using Technology to Facilitate Intellectual Discourse In Politically or Socially Complicated Times.” Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference, Daytona Beach, FL. January, 2019.
Partin, C. M., *Archer, C., & *Geiss, C. “Teaching Social Justice Across the Curriculum to Enhance Student Learning.” Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference, Daytona Beach, FL. January, 2019.
Partin, C. “Best Practices for Graduate Teacher Training.” Invited Inaugural Speaker for Northern Arizona University’s Brown Bag Speaker Series. November, 2018.
Mayberry, M. “Hidden Hetronormativity: A Framework to Investigate Institutional and Social Integration of LGBTQIA+ in Educational and Professional Settings.” Southeast Regional Meetings of the American Chemical Society. November, 2018.
Partin, C. & Mayberry, M. “A Successful Model for Graduate Teacher Training.” Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence, Celebration of Teaching at USF, Tampa, FL. March, 2017.
Partin, C. & Toothman, E. “Preparing Future Faculty: MA and PhD Graduate Teacher Training.” Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence, Celebration of Teaching at USF, Tampa, FL. March, 2017.
Lewis, J., Wooley, A., Mayberry, M., Partin, C., & Yee, K. “(Un)Disciplining Pedagogy: A Transdisciplinary Analysis of TA Professional Development. Annual Meeting for American Association for the Advancement of Science, Boston, MA. February, 2017.
Partin, C. “Critical Dialogue: In Their Voices—Considering the Needs of Graduate Student Teachers.” Annual Meeting for American Sociological Association, Seattle, WA. August, 2016.
Mayberry, M., Partin, C., & Stombler, M. “Setting the Stage for Success—Preparing and Supporting Graduate Student Instructors.” Annual Meeting for American Sociological Association, Seattle, WA. August, 2016.
Partin, C. & Toothman, E. “Preparing Future Faculty: MA and PhD Graduate Teacher Training.” Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence, Celebration of Teaching at USF, Tampa, FL. March, 2016.
Partin, C., *Altice, J., *Briggs, D., *Fuller, J., *Geiss, C., *Heimos, M., *Johnson, O., *Kwan, T., *Maconi, M., *Mehta, P., *Ramirez, M., & *Venter, N. "A Team-Based Approach to GTA Teaching." University of South Florida Celebration of Teaching Conference, Tampa, FL. March, 2016.
Partin, C., *Gregory, A., & *Hilbert, J.F. “Using Social Media to Increase Student Engagement and Comprehension.” Annual Meeting for the Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, GA. April, 2013.
Partin, C. & *Lauderdale, S. “Bringing It All Together: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Incorporating Mobile Technologies in Higher Education.” Annual Meeting for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, Orlando, FL. January, 2013.
Partin, C. & *Lauderdale, S. “Two Heads are Better Than One: A Case Study of Researcher Collaboration.” Annual Meeting for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, Orlando, FL. January, 2013.
*Lauderdale, S. & Partin, C. “Texting Without Borders: Using Mobile Technologies to Overcome the Confines of Online Courses.” Annual Meeting for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, Orlando, FL. January, 2013.
*Lauderdale, S. & Partin, C. “‘I Got to Speak Without Being Judged’: Using Mobile Devices and Technology to Promote Feminist Pedagogy in the Classroom.” Annual Meeting for the Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, LA. March, 2012.
Partin, C. &* Lauderdale, S. “Mobile Technologies and Devices in the Twenty-First Century 2.0 Learning Environment.” Annual Meeting for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Jacksonville, FL. November, 2011.
Partin, C. & *Lauderdale, S. “Facilitating Transformative Learning Experiences for Pre-Service Educators and Graduate Teaching Assistants: Ways that Mentors Can Promote Career Readiness Through the Use of Technology in Teacher Education and Graduate Teaching Assisted Courses.” Annual Meeting for the Florida Association of Teacher Educators, St. Petersburg, FL. October, 2011.