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The Craft of Teaching

The Craft of Teaching (CoT) is the Divinity School's program of pedagogical development for its graduate students, dedicated to preparing a new generation of accomplished educators in the field of religious studies.  We bring together Divinity School faculty, current students, invited guests, and an extensive alumni network of decorated teachers to share strategies, develop skills, and advance critical reflection relating to religious studies pedagogy. Find out more here, or browse our program schedule and multimedia library. Craft of Teaching workshops are open to the whole university community, within and beyond the Divinity School.

  • Autumn 2016 Schedule is live!

View our full schedule of this quarter's Craft of Teaching programs here.

 

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For the 2016-2017 academic year, five University of Chicago Divinity early-career alumni and late-term PhD candidates are invited to provide their unique insights as faculty members. Our Bloggers in Virtual Residence engage with some of the topics addressed by this year's CoT programming and discuss some of their own personal experiences.
 
See their contributions here -- and stay tuned for coming updates on the future of the blog!

 

  • The Craft of Teaching has its first publication! (September, 2015)

Hearty congratulations to the graduate student Craft of Teaching participants who have been featured in a co-authored publication in the most recent volume of Teaching Theology and Religion! After the Spring 2015 workshop, "The Art of the Approach: Negotiating Hard Choices in Introductory Course Design," Prof. Russell McCutcheon, our guest for the workshop, invited four Divinity School graduate students to respond to the essay version of his presentation and collaborate on a forum-style submission to the journal. The publication, entitled "Crafting the Introductory Course in Religious Studies," consists of Prof. McCutcheon's essay, the four Divinity School responses (by Andrew Durdin, Kelli Gardner, Adam Miller, and Emily Crews), and an introduction by Aaron Hollander, Program Coordinator for the Craft of Teaching. Download the publication from the journal here and we'll keep you apprised of further interventions in the field of religious studies pedagogy by Craft of Teaching participants.

John and Jane Colman, long-time friends and supporters of the Divinity School, have made a generous gift of $900,000 to endow the Craft of Teaching.  The entire Divinity School community is deeply appreciative of their vision and leadership. Read more here

Friday, September 30, 1:30-3:30, Swift Third Floor Lecture Hall

Its-christmastime-again-charlie-brown-20.jpgScientific 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 fundamental concepts of public speaking and provide practical advice for building confidence in front of an audience, using our bodies and voices to communicate information more effectively, and to connect with audiences.  Led by Aaron Hollander, Program Coordinator for the Craft of Teaching. Participation in this workshop is will be of service to Divinity School students in any program and area, whether or not they will pursue Craft of Teaching certification. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Friday, October 14, 1:30-3:30 pm, Swift 106

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This year, the Craft of Teaching program is especially committed to examining variances between the many contexts in which religious studies education takes place. Such variances begin, however, well before a faculty member is appointed in a department -- on the job market, applicants will encounter a wide range of approaches to teaching and to the professional expectations of a religious studies educator. Different kinds of teaching materials may be requested, evaluations or demonstrations of different sorts may be expected, and applicants will find themselves in need of representing their own pedagogical experience and orientations in personal conversation as well as in written statements. The role of teaching on the academic job market is anything but standardized, but it is always a matter of significance.

This panel, featuring three University of Chicago alumni who serve as department heads or program directors in diverse institutional contexts, will consider the different ways that -- in the course of search processes for academic positions -- applicants' teaching is considered within the holistic parameters of searches, that is, how their teaching experience, philosophy, and other materials are evaluated, interpreted, weighed, etc, in the teaching environments represented by our panelists. Such a conversation will shed light on a process that, for many graduate students, remains all too opaque, in the process equipping them to think more critically and speak more productively about their own teaching, vis-à-vis the applications they will make at different kinds of institutions.

Panelists:

Susan Hill (AM ‘86, PhD in Religion & Literature, ‘93; Professor of Religion, University of Northern Iowa)

Khaled Keshk (PhD in NELC, ‘02; Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, DePaul University)

Esther Menn (AM ‘85, PhD in Biblical Studies, ‘95; Dean and VP for Academic Affairs; The Ralph W. and Marilyn R. Klein Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, LSTC)

For the remainder of the quarter's events, see our full schedule

Featured Content:

Beyond Polarization: Professor Martin Marty on Strategies for Public Engagement

Monday, April 27, 4:00-5:30 pm, Swift Hall Common Room

Reflecting on a lifetime of public engagement, Prof. Marty discusses concrete strategies for communicating with broader audiences and for enhancing public discourse as scholars of religion.  Click here to download mp3 audio of this event.

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.


Dean's Spring Craft of Teaching Seminar with Alumna of the Year, Laurie L. Patton

Thursday, April 23, 12:00-1:30 pm, Swift Hall Common Room

Rebecca ChoppLed by Dean Laurie Patton (PhD, History of Religions, 1991), this pedagogy seminar focuses on a graduate course on the theory of comparison: "The Very Idea of Comparing Religions." Dean Patton, the incoming President of Middlebury College, leads a discussion on how a case-study method may be effectively used for teaching comparatively, drawing on her own extensive experience with such a method. Teaching comparatively, moreover, may involve not only drawing on the case studies of others but also equipping students to design and carry out their own case studies.  Click here to download mp3 audio of this event.

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.


Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp (Winter 2015)

Thursday, February 12 from 12:00-2:00 PM in the Swift Common Room

Rebecca ChoppLed by Rebecca Chopp (PhD, Theology, 1983), Chancellor of the University of Denver and former President and Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College and Colgate University.  In this unique Dean's Seminar, Chancellor Chopp will draw upon her extensive experience in higher education leadership to discuss her approach to the classroom and university administration.  She will address the future of higher education and liberal education in particular, as well as the rewards and challenges of administrative leadership today. Click here to download mp3 audio of this event.

 

 

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.


Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar with Joanne Maguire Robinson (Autumn 2014): "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.  

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.


Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar with Jonathan Z. Smith (Winter 2013)

February 27, 2013

jzsmith3.jpgLed by Prof. Jonathan Z. Smith, Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities, Associate Faculty in the Divinity School, and author of a collection of essays on pedagogy entitled On Teaching Religion: Essays by Jonathan Z. Smith (edited by Christopher Lehrich; Oxford UP, 2012).  Prof. Smith discusses his approach to pedagogy especially in relation to the Introduction to Religious Studies course that he taught in the College.

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.


Visit our Multimedia Library for audio and video of more Craft of Teaching events.

Craft of Teaching requirements for Divinity School doctoral students:

  • Participation in the Chicago Center for Teaching's annual Teaching@Chicago Conference.

  • Participation at three Dean's Quarterly Craft of Teaching Seminars

  • Participation in three Arts of Teaching Workshops

  • Participation in at least five additional Craft of Teaching programs of your choosing

  • Submission of a Philosophy of Teaching Statement

Download the printable self-tracking sheet available in Word format or PDF.  For additional details, see the Program Requirements page.

For detailed descriptions of upcoming events, please see our schedule page.

For more information about the Craft of Teaching, please contact: craftofteaching@uchicago.edu

Aaron Hollander
Program Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching
University of Chicago Divinity School
 
 
 
 
Maureen Kelly
Associate Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching
University of Chicago Divinity School