Graduate students in the Department of Psychology undergo systematic training as teachers as well as
Training in teaching is based on the Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) Program, which is
administered and required by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. During the summer between first and second year,
all students complete a three day teacher training course with faculty drawn from across the university. The course consists of workshops on syllabus writing, grading, lecturing, leading discussions, conducting lab sessions, and using electronic technologies.
During the second year, all students enroll in a departmental teaching practicum, which provides
information and support as students begin their first teaching experiences. It emphasizes practical aspects of course
design and implementation as well as current research on classroom structure and teaching effectiveness. During the
second year, students also serve as a teaching assistant for the department’s undergraduate
statistics course for one semester. The course consists of a large lecture section taught by a faculty member, and small
lab sections (each with 16 students) led by the teaching assistants. Teaching assistants meet frequently with the
faculty member to discuss the course material and the lab sections.
Following the teaching practicum and teaching assistantship, students complete a one-semester teaching
associateship, in which each graduate student is responsible for a lab section of the department's undergraduate
experimental methods course. Each student is responsible for developing and assigning lab exercises, writing and
delivering at least one lecture in an associated course, reading and grading laboratory reports, and dealing with
undergraduate student problems and concerns. Meetings with faculty teaching the lecture component are used to coordinate
the individual sections and ensure quality of instruction for the undergraduates, while offering graduate students more
responsibility in designing and running a class section of their own.
After completing the teaching associateship, students may apply for an appointment as
a Dean's Teaching Fellow.
These are competitive appointments that give students complete responsibility for one course in the Psychology department in each semester of the award year. Other opportunities to serve as a teaching assistant or to teach a summer
course independently are also available to interested students.