Program Outline

Teaching education will follow the research education paradigm. We believe strongly that the development of teaching skills should follow the successful paradigm that scientists have evolved for the development of research skills: (1) classroom work and discussion, followed by (2) guided laboratory exercises, and then (3) immersion in increasingly independent projects.

Research: Fellows will spend the majority of their time getting established in the laboratory and developing their research project with their Research Mentor.

Teaching: During the first year of our teaching development program in the Spring term, the fellows will meet as a group with the coordinator once a week to study and practice different aspects of teaching through two modes: a class-within-a-class, in which the fellows design their own course, teach it, and evaluate their presentations, and, at the meta-level, a discussion of issues such as: lecturing, using writing, using discussion in teaching, teaching large classes versus seminars, using technology in the classroom, mentoring students, adjusting to different learning styles, designing a syllabus, developing web pages, teaching laboratory courses, and evaluating students and writing exams.

Also during the first year, students will select a Teaching Mentor with FIRST’s help and spend some time with that mentor developing a strategy/contract for the course they will be teaching.

Research: Fellows will continue to work on their research projects collecting data for future publications. They should also be building collaborations within their field of study which may lead to additional co-authored papers.

Teaching: This year is spent working with the Teaching Mentor 2 or 3 times per week developing the full course for the culminating experience in the third year. This may include teaching some class sessions, preparing technological enhancements to that course or, in some cases development of entirely new courses. Also, a teaching workshop will be developed and organized by each second-year class of fellows for the FIRST community.

Research: In most cases, with their research projects progressing with positive results, fellows should start, if they haven't done so arelady, the process of documenting their work in publications with their Research Mentors and colleagues. Since this is the final year of the fellowship, fellows are also encouraged to think about independent projects which they can take with them when leaving the program. Drafting and writing K-award grant applications are also encouraged during this last year of the fellowship. Even though the teaching load is significanly increased, research time should still be incorporated into the fellows' daily routine.

Teaching: Our teaching development program will culminate with the planning and teaching of an entire course in one semester of the third year. By the third year, fellows will be familiar with teaching pedagogies and their AUC mentors, and will have begun to develop a teaching style. Using the skills attained in their first two years, fellows will, with the guidance of a mentor, design and teach their own course. At the same time, the fellows will develop an on-line version of their course. Fellows should not have more than one semester teaching a course. Sometimes the teaching experience will be somewhat diluted due to schedules and expertise, but together it should not be equivalent to more than one semester. The occasional guest lectureship shouldn't count, and yet should not get out of hand.

PLEASE NOTE: The courses given at each of the AUC schools is part of the curriculum zealously guarded by the faculty. New courses or revisions need to be approved at the departmental and school level through the activity of the teaching mentor at the school. FIRST does not offer courses; and any suggestions to that effect must be circumlocuted.