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Indiana University Bloomington

Graduate | Training Future Teachers

The Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University-Bloomington has a long-standing commitment to the development of graduate students as teachers. As a faculty, we believe that teaching and scholarship cannot productively be separated. We believe that an integral part of scholarly work is sharing findings and insights with students, and that interacting with students has a reciprocal and productive impact on scholarship. For us, training graduate students to be outstanding scholars and helping them to become outstanding teachers are two parts of the same process. Putting these committments into practice, we have developed a three-part approach to developing a program designed to prepare graduate students for a productive and successful career as teaching scholars.

Introduction in Pedagogy

Introduction to Pedagogy in Communication and Culture (C545)

This course is offered each fall, and is required of all graduate students with teaching responsibilities within the department. The course is designed to introduce students to basic instructional techniques (designing a course, leading discussion, evaluating students, etc.), but within a framework that examines the political and cultural implications of those techniques. The course also traces the role of the Humanites and the Liberal Arts within the modern university, provides an opportunity to begin developing a teaching portfolio, introduces students to contemporary pedagogical theory, and encourages students to interrogate all of these ideas and practices within the context of the courses they currently are teaching.

Advanced Seminar in Pedagogy (C622)

This course is offered at least once every two years, and focuses on one aspect of advanced pedagogy theory. The topic varies to include such issues as gender and sexuality, race, class, and the pedagogical problems peculiar to specific objects of study (texts, film etc.), depending upon the interests and expertise of the instructor.

Certificate in Pedagogy

The department offers this Certificate as a way to students to display to potential employers their special interest and training in pedogogical theory and practice. To earn the Certificate, students must complete the two courses described above (C545 & C622) and complete both the Pedagogy Practicum (C646) and the Pedagogy Certificate Exam. In the Pedagogy Practicum, students will work closely with a faculty mentor in developing a course proposal of their own design. They also may be asked to write a brief (8-10 page) paper evaluating their teaching experience from a pedagogical perspective. The Pedagogy Certificate Exam consists of a 4-5 page essay -- taken home and completed within a 24-hour period -- based on a reading list that the student develops in consultation with one of the faculty who has taught C545 or C622.

In summary, the requirements for the Certificate in Pedagogy are as follows:

For more information about the Certificate in Pedagogy, click here.

Mentoring and Opportunities in Pedagogy

In addition to the pedagogy courses and the Certificate, the department also offers a variety of resources and support for Associate Instructors. Course-specific training for new Associate Instructors is provided by individual course directors through intense two-week pre-semester workshops and regular staff meetings during the year. These course directors also make regular in-class observations of their staff throughout the year, and are available for individual consultation and support. Associate Instructors also may ask CMCL faculty members to observe their teaching at any time, and are encouraged to visit the undergraduate classes taught by CMCL faculty as well.

At the departmental level, we recognize outstanding teaching by Associate Instructors each year at our departmental awards presentation and reception. At the university level, Associate Instructors from CMCL have received the Lieber Award for Teaching Excellence at least 20 times.

The department also supports an active Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program, enabling students to visit other colleges and universities to compare teaching environments and expectations. When students participating in the PFF program observed classes at IUPUI during the spring semester of the 2005-2006 academic year, for example, they noted that there is no substitute for "being there" at the institution itself, and that many pedagogical issues remain constant regardless of the venue. The doctoral students entering the job market especially appreciated the opportunity to meet with professors on other campuses. Students involved in the PFF program also presented a panel on pedagogy at the 2007 NCA Annual Convenion. For more information about the PFF program, please contact professor Carolyn Calloway-Thomas: <>.

The department offers many additional teaching opportunities for AIs, both as assistants in larger lecture courses (such as C190 and C205) and as independent instructors in 200 and 300 level undergraduate courses.

Elsewhere on campus, there are opportunities to design courses to be competitively selected and taught through the Collins Living Learning Center, the Global Village Living Learning Center, the American Studies Program, and other venues and programs.

The Indiana University Graduate School provides opportunities to apply for Future Faculty Teaching Fellowships. These competitive fellowships enable advanced IU Bloomington doctoral students and advanced MFA students in Fine Arts to enhance their career preparation by experiencing faculty life in new academic environments. Specifically, Future Faculty Teaching Fellows are treated as "visiting faculty" for one academic year at a regional campus of the IU system. Fellows receive a total of either $8,000 or $9,000 per semester, which comes to either $16,000 or $18,000 for the academic year.