Graduate students in the Department of Psychology undergo systematic training as both scholars and teachers.
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 two 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.