2014-15 Craft of Teaching Schedule

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Fall 2014   

Workshop on Teaching in the College (Chicago Center for Teaching)

September 24–25

A two-day program of the Chicago Center for Teaching open to graduate students in all divisions and featuring sessions on a variety of pedagogy topics.  See the CCT  website for additional information.  Note:  Attendance at the CCT's Workshop on Teaching and completion of a workshop journal is a required component of the Divinity School's Craft of Teaching Certificate.  Please refer to the Craft of Teaching program requirements.


Workshop on Public Speaking (Arts of Teaching Series)

Thursday, October 2 from 12-1:30 PM in the Swift 3rd Floor Lecture Hall

Scientific research, as well as our common experience, indicates that how we communicate often has a much greater impact on audiences than the content of our message.  The skills of public communication are therefore of vital importance to the work of future teachers and scholars.  This interactive workshop will present the fundamental concepts of public speaking and provide practical advice for using our body and voice to communicate information more effectively and to connect with audiences.  Led by Seth Patterson, MFA, a professional theater artist and current M.Div. student who has worked with individuals and groups at the Divinity School, Booth School, Social Sciences Division, and GSA.  Attendance at this workshop is a prerequisite for participation in the Fall Microteaching Workshop on lecturing.  Coffee and tea will be provided, but feel free to bring your own lunch. 


Cultivating Rigorous Creativity in Your Students

Wednesday, October 15 from 4:00 - 5:30 PM in Swift 201

Too often in academia we think of creativity as a frivolous thing, but there is nothing frivolous about it.  It is a rigorous intellectual process of synthesis that goes beyond critical thinking and analysis.  Participants will be encouraged to design assessments that demand rigorous creative thinking from their students.  Featuring Mark Maxwell, English and Fine Arts, Rolling Meadows High School.  Mr. Maxwell is the author of the novel Nixoncarver (St. Martin's Press) and several short stories, and many of his students have gone on to publish their own creative writing.  Presented by Kevin Hector, Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religions.

Advanced viewing recommended by Mr. Maxwell: 


Dean's Fall Craft of Teaching Seminar with Joanne Maguire Robinson ("From Paper Syllabi to Online Learning: Expanding Course Boundaries")

Friday, October 24 from 12:00-2:00 PM in the Swift Hall Common Room

With the help of technology, college-level teaching has expanded well beyond classroom walls.  Using a selection of syllabi from her seventeen-year career, Divinity School alumna Joanne Maguire Robinson (PhD, History of Christianity, 1996) will discuss shifting settings for and assumptions about both teaching and learning.  Prof. Robinson is Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  She is a recipient of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence (2012), a National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" course development grant (2012), and the North Carolina Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013).  She is also a member of the Editorial Board of Teaching Theology and Religion.  Prof. Robinson is the author of Nobility and Annihilation in Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls (SUNY 2001) and is presently revising Waiting in Christianity.  

The quarterly Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar is the flagship seminar of the Craft of Teaching program, centered on issues of course design and institutional context.  Complementary lunch is provided at all Dean's Seminars for the first 25 RSVPs.  Please RSVP at any time to craftofteachingreligion@gmail.com, indicating meat, vegetarian, or vegan preferences

Please read the following material in preparation for the seminar:

Reading Packet Part One

Reading Packet Part Two

Reading Packet Part Three


Teaching with Fiction

Monday, November 3 from 12:00-1:30 PM in Swift 201

Fiction can be an invaluable classroom resource even for those whose specialty is not Religion and Literature.  Lucy Pick, Senior Lecturer in the Divinity School, Director of the Religious Studies major, and author of the novel Pilgrimage , and Noah Toly, Associate Professor of Politics & International Relations at Wheaton College and former Senior Fellow at the Marty Center (2012-2013), will discuss why and how to use fiction in the religious studies classroom. 

A packet of advanced reading is available for download here.  (Note: McCann's "All Respect to Heaven, I like it Here " is highly recommended but optional.)


Divinity School Philosophy of Teaching Statement Workshop (Arts of Teaching Series)

Thursday, November 13 from 9-10:30 AM in the Marty Center Library (Swift Hall, 2nd Floor)

The Philosophy of Teaching Statement is a document that communicates the goals and values that animate one's teaching.  Writing a teaching statement is an extremely valuable exercise in pedagogical self-reflection, and such statements are a standard component of applications in the higher education job market.  This workshop will introduce participants to the genre, examine sample documents, and start participants on their way to composing their own statements.  Led by Elizabeth Chandler, founding Director and current Senior Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Teaching.  


Fall Microteaching Workshop: The Large Lecture (Arts of Teaching Series)

Friday, December 5 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (location TBA)

Microteaching is organized practice teaching in a supportive, low-risk environment.  Participants will teach a short lesson to a small group of peers and receive detailed feedback (including self-assessment based on video-recording) on their teaching strategy and performance.  This fall's microteaching workshop will focus on the preparation and delivery of lectures for large enrollment courses.  Participants will not only practice techniques of effective delivery, but will also gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the lecture format as a pedagogical strategy.  Consultants will include: Dean Margaret M. Mitchell, Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Dean of the Divinity School; Seth Patterson, MFA, a professional theater artist, current M.Div. student, and experienced performance coach and workshop leader; and Brandon Cline, Craft of Teaching Program Coordinator and a senior Teaching Consultant at the University's Center for Teaching and Learning.  Participation is strictly limited and advanced registration is required.  You can register by emailing Brandon directly at .


Teaching Islamic Studies in the Liberal Arts 

Thursday, December 11, 12:00-1:30PM in Swift 201

The Islamic Studies Workshop presents Lauren Osborne (PhD, Islamic Studies, 2014), Assistant Professor of Religion at Whitman College.  In addition to her teaching at Whitman, Prof. Osborne has taught at Carleton College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In this workshop, Prof. Osborne will discuss her experiences creating and teaching Islamic Studies courses within the liberal arts disciplines as well as at liberal arts colleges.  Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to esartell@uchicago.edu While RSVPs are not required to attend, they are appreciated to ensure enough food for all participants.