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Graduate Teaching Program – Helping teachers become better teachers

Guiding teachers to a future of lifelong learning

May 4, 2018 — 

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (The Centre) is proud to guide students, who are at the beginning of their teaching careers, to prepare for lifelong learning in the field of higher education teaching with the Graduate Teaching Program (GTP). The GTP program imparts knowledge and skills that help graduate students develop confidence and proficiency as a new teacher.

“Teaching is something I like doing and see myself practicing later in my career,” said Uduak Edet, Ph.D. Student with Biosystems Engineering. “Based on my previous experience in teaching, I knew there were some areas that I needed to improve, so when I heard about the GTP and read its goals and curriculum, I knew that it was an opportunity for me to achieve my own goals.”

With plans to be involved in research as well as teaching-related work, Aminul Haque likewise expressed interest in the GTP as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geological Sciences.

“Through my graduate studies, I have received guidance, training and advice regarding how to be a good researcher; however, there is not much help on how to improve my teaching ability,” said Haque. “I decided to take the GTP to learn about the current practices of adult teaching and further techniques to improve my own teaching ability.”

Reaching goals with SEDA accreditation

Both Edet and Haque acknowledged the benefit of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) accreditation of the GTP as an advantage towards achieving their goals.

“GTP is a unique opportunity for the graduate students to get an internationally recognized certificate in adult teaching,” said Haque. “The SEDA accreditation is also a reason why I have decided to take GTP. I want to apply for teaching related jobs internationally, therefore having a teaching-related accreditation from an internationally recognized organization like SEDA will definitely help.”

Reflections upon a Teaching and Philosophy Statement

The GTP doesn’t just teach graduate students how to become better teachers, it also asks the question as to what kind of teacher do they wish to be. An important component of the GTP is the completion and delivery of the ‘Teaching and Philosophy Statement and SEDA Reflections’.

“Initially, I thought that the ‘Teaching Philosophy Statement’ is all about why I want to be a teacher and why I want to teach specific topics; however, through the GTP I got to know that it is more than that,” explained Haque. “It not only says why, but also how I want to teach something to someone.”

“I knew that as an individual, it’s good to have a personal philosophy,” said Edet. “I never thought that I would need one solely for teaching purposes. Thanks to the GTP, I now have a teaching philosophy that I reflect on whenever I am relating with students.”

Becoming a better teacher with GTP

“Generally, whether you plan to teach or work in the industry, I say go for it, because GTP makes you an effective communicator, and a better coordinator of people, time, and resources,” said Edet. “To someone who is already in the teaching profession, the program will make you reflect on your teaching strategies and relationship with students, such as whether what you are doing is right, or wrong, and how to improve on them if needed.”


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