Some thoughts about the value of the TDP, from participants.

Taarini Mookhergee

Department of English and Comparative Literature

Every job interview that I’ve had this year has asked some version of this question: What defines you as a teacher? It’s because of my experiences in the TDP that I feel like I have a compelling and articulate response. Every event I attended as part of the TDP informed how I presented myself as a teacher-scholar on the job market, and how I talked about the values and beliefs that I hold as a teacher. Though I began the TDP program fairly late in my graduate student career, it’s been instrumental in my experience in the job market. I believe that it’s because of the TDP program that I received a job offer this year. Video

Tim Randolph

Department of Computer Science

Recently, I finished preparing my teaching portfolio for the TDP Advanced Track capstone. My strongest emotion was pride at how far I’d come: from someone who had no specific knowledge of how to teach to someone who can use the pedagogical concepts I’ve learned to articulate what I want to achieve in my classroom and why.

Aleksandra Jakubczak

Department of History

What I learned through the TDP was beyond my expectations. Entering the program, I considered myself more a researcher than an educator and disregarded this part of my academic training at Columbia. Now, at the end of this journey, I am more of an educator, and my pedagogical choices can both shape my students and extend the ideas that have guided me as a researcher – in particular, my commitment to giving voice to marginalized groups.

Ami Yoon

Department of English and Comparative Literature

Prior to pursuing the TDP, terms such as “inclusive pedagogy” and “active learning” were vague, abstract concepts for me; some ideas, such as “backward design,” were entirely new. Besides gaining language to identify particular teaching principles, I have also learnt to translate them into action as I work with students both inside and outside the classroom. In other words, I have shifted from approaching teaching as something primarily about what I, the instructor, do, to an approach that prioritizes student learning.

Lisa Randolph

Department of Neurology and Behavior

The TDP learning objective that has been the most relevant to me is the first learning objective (“Describe and implement learner-centered pedagogical practices that draw on evidence-based educational research”). I think this was especially significant to me because I am a student/teacher in STEM, so I have become accustomed to lecture-based classes in which the focus is dissemination of information rather than student engagement. I had come to think that this structure was more or less necessary for STEM classes, and the TDP helped me to see how I can make subtle changes to the structure of my classes that can enhance student engagement without altering the course content or depth.

Matt Carbone

Department of Chemistry

Overall, I’ve found that the TDP has profoundly impacted my perspective on teaching… In the end, teaching is a responsibility that we owe our community, and I’ve found this program, and the time I’ve taken in reflection, to be transformative in how I approach pedagogy in the future.

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