Bridging the Gap between K-12 and University-level History

by Clare Ibarra, History Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2017 The reality of teaching History at the university level is that the professor and the student walk into the lecture hall with two totally different expectations of what it is they will accomplish in that space. While students believe they will Continue Reading >>

Social Theory as a Map to the World

by Martin Eiermann, Sociology Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2017 Problem: Many students might initially perceive works of social theory as obtuse relicts from another era that remain interesting to a cadre of academic experts but are of limited utility to everyone else. This sentiment is only heightened by a canon Continue Reading >>

The Interpretive Problem: A Key Concept in Teaching Writing

by Carli Cutchin, Comparative Literature Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2017 Thesis statements are the bread and butter of a good college essay – or so conventional pedagogical wisdom would say. As a Reading and Composition instructor, I would see students struggle time and again when asked to write a thesis. Continue Reading >>

Beyond Plot: Discussing the Stakes of Literary Texts

by Vanessa Brutsche, French Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2017 One of the skills that I target in my Reading and Composition courses is the ability to read beyond basic content (plot and characters), and to move fluidly between the abstract and concrete levels of a text’s meaning. In literature-based courses, Continue Reading >>

Developing a Reading Heuristic or Guide for Students

Effective reading strategies can vary by discipline, text-type, and the purpose of the particular reading assignment. They can also vary with the level of the student and the instructor’s purpose in developing the assignment. Here are some reading heuristics developed by GSIs and faculty members at UC Berkeley for their Continue Reading >>

Engaged Reading

For many lower-division students, reading is a receptive or decoding process. Give them explicit procedures for making reading a critical, creative process.