Getting Graduate Students Comfortable with their Power

A little background: within Physics 691G, we do a two-week unit on issues of identity in the classroom. We segue into the unit by thinking about the challenges in evaluating teaching which is done in the context of the new grads observing more experienced TAs. After we explore the challenges of evaluating teaching, the new grads complete an worksheet based upon an exercise developed by Kirsten Helmer of TEFD. In this assignment, the new grads must they explicitly consider their positionality along multiple axes. We then spend two weeks looking at case studies of various interactions within the classroom. During the first week, we investigate situations where the new grads identity as a student is salient. The second week, we move to situations where their identity as instructors is more relevant. In that second week, many of the new grads seemed uncomfortable with the power that being in an “instructor” role bestows.

Continue reading “Getting Graduate Students Comfortable with their Power”

Brokk’s reflections on AAPT Summer Meeting 2018

During my AAPT SM18 experience, I focused on presentations and posters from three main areas in which I have deep personal interest: IPLS/curriculum development, diversity/equity in physics, and self-efficacy/attitudes. In addition, I attended several sessions related to areas of interest for our department, specifically on integrating computation through the curriculum. In this post, I will synthesize and reflect on my take-aways from the conference. I saw a lot of good talks. As such, this post is somewhat long.

Continue reading “Brokk’s reflections on AAPT Summer Meeting 2018”

Introductory Physics for Life Sciences (IPLS) as a Diversity Course?

Is there a sense in which IPLS courses like Phys 131 and 132 here at UMass, are courses with diversity as a central component? A recent meeting of my Teaching for Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Fellowship which had Including Aspects of Identity in Course Design as the theme, got me thinking about this question.

Continue reading “Introductory Physics for Life Sciences (IPLS) as a Diversity Course?”

Toggerson Accepted to TIDE Fellowship

About the program

The TIDE (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity) Fellowship is an opportunity to “explore how they can enhance students’ learning and academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences by adopting a strength-based, inclusive approach to teaching and learning grounded in the value of diversity. Experiential, collaborative, and reflective learning are integral elements of the TIDE program.”

Toggerson’s Goals

Continue reading “Toggerson Accepted to TIDE Fellowship”