History’s new teaching partnership program, honoring the memory of Professor Sidney Fine, pairs faculty members with graduate students to collaboratively prepare a new course or revise an old one. This process gives the faculty member a fresh class to teach and the graduate student a syllabus that can be developed into a future course and included in a teaching dossier.
This collaboration means faculty provide mentoring, input, and advice on their student partner’s syllabus design. Students assist with identifying and defining course goals and help to procure texts, images, film clips, and other course materials. Together they work out pedagogical approaches, the use of technologies, the balance between textual and visual materials, and the use of course websites.
The teaching partnership program began in 2016. Participants Hussein Fancy and Kate Waggoner-Karchner worked over that summer to build a broad bibliography of primary and secondary sources for a History 195 class, “Medieval Europe’s Understanding of Islam.” They categorized the sources—around 750 items—by geography and period, which were further systematized by themes such as mission, travel, polemic, crusade, perception, literature, diplomacy, military, and captivity. For her course design, Waggoner-Karchner chose weekly themes and readings, made outlines for lesson plans, and created writing assignments.
“The partnership allowed me to create an entirely new syllabus to bolster my teaching portfolio when I go on the job market,” said Waggoner-Karchner. “Hussein guided me as I practiced creating my own assignments, choosing relevant reading materials, and balancing big-picture goals for the course with the detail that is involved in a course syllabus.”
With any luck, students will soon be signing up for these courses.