Teaching is an important part of the doctoral program in history, and the department provides resources that help doctoral students become skilled teachers. At UNM we are dedicated to providing a range of teaching resources, training, and opportunities for all of our graduate students.
Opportunities within the department
As a department we believe that faculty supervision of Graduate Assistants and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GAs and GTAs) improves the preparation of graduate students for teaching in a range of academic settings as well as for many other career paths and improves the quality of undergraduate education on campus. We view graduate assistants as instructors in training who work with faculty mentors. For PhD students, we view the graduate assistantship as essential preparation for teaching their own courses within the Department and contributing to the Department’s curriculum. This teaching experience positions our PhD students for success on the academic job market.
Each year GAs (first time and continuing) must attend the department’s orientation in the Fall semester and take the online Graduate Studies Introduction to Graduate Teaching. In addition, graduate student must meet with their assigned faculty member before the semester starts to go over the syllabus and clarify their responsibilities. GAs will also then meet regularly throughout the semester with their assigned faculty mentor to discuss not only logistics of grading but also pedagogical matters related to their duties for the course. At UNM we view the GA experience not as simply paid labor, but as a duty for faculty to use these opportunities to broaden student’s understandings of and experiences with teaching.
Training and resources at UNM
The Graduate Studies office provides an excellent opportunity for graduate students to improve their teaching skills through the Graduate Teaching Academy. This certificate program is designed to help graduate students improve their teaching, from course design to lectures, and be able to show prospective employers that they have rigorous pedagogical training.
External resources for pedagogical training
The American Historical Association (the nation’s largest professional organization for academic historians) provides numerous articles and resources for teaching history: AHA’s resources for teaching and learning “Historians in Classrooms: Schools, Colleges, and Universities” “An Option Worth Pursuing: Teaching Opportunities for History Graduate Students in Secondary Schools”
Similarly, the Organization of American Historians also has a teaching resources page.
Other articles, posts, and books about teaching history: Trevor Getz, “How To Teach History Better” David Arnold, “Kill the Professor and Save the Teacher” Lori Wysong, “What Would It Mean to Decolonize the Curriculum?” Kevin Gannon, Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto