Developing your knowledge of disciplinary pedagogy can benefit you in preparing to become a future faculty member, or in preparing for work in a setting outside of academia where explaining disciplinary concepts to your colleagues may be a valued skill.

Steps You Can Take

Take Departmental Pedagogy Class

Enrolling in a pedagogy course in your department will help you learn about pedagogical practices within your specific discipline. Departmental pedagogy courses can be found in the course catalog, where most are listed as 375 courses.

Serve as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or Acting Instructor-Graduate Student (AI-GS)

Serving as a GSI or AI-GS will help you to hone your teaching skills in a course within your discipline. Consider speaking to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer (GSAO) in your department to learn about openings for teaching opportunities in your field. You can learn more about GSI positions in the GSI, GSR, Reader and Tutor Guide.

Develop a Course Syllabus

Developing a course syllabus can help improve your understanding of a particular subfield of knowledge in your discipline. Your finished syllabus may also help you secure an academic job where you will have the opportunity to teach similar courses. Designing a course also gives you practice in formulating desired outcomes and ways to assess whether they have been met, an essential skill in any career. Each semester the GSI Teaching & Resource Center offers a workshop specifically geared toward graduate students who are interested in designing a course and corresponding syllabus.

Some other resources that may help you in developing a course syllabus include:

Undertake the Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is designed to help you develop your classroom skills, to prepare for teaching as a future faculty member, and to professionally document your work as a teacher. The activities that are part of the certificate program include general and discipline-specific teaching skills such as developing a teaching portfolio, cultivating strategies for efficient and effective grading, and using digital technology in teaching and learning.

Write a Teaching Statement for Job Applications

Applications for academic positions often ask candidates to submit a teaching statement that reflects their pedagogical experience and philosophy within their particular discipline. To get started with writing a statement of teaching philosophy, consider attending the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s workshop on Developing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy and Teaching Portfolio.

Some other resources from The Chronicle of Higher Education that may be helpful to you in writing a teaching statement include:

Review Teaching Journals in Your Field

Many disciplines have journals that publish articles specifically related to teaching issues within the field. Investigate which teaching-specific journals may exist within your field or in fields closely related to yours. Consider reviewing these journals to get an idea of the types of research and conversations that take place within your discipline on the topics of teaching and learning. You may also consider reading some of the discipline-specific award-winning teaching ideas found in the Teaching Effectiveness Essays written by UC Berkeley GSIs.