"Hidden Figures" in Developmental Science
There are over 100,000 psychology undergraduate majors and approximately 15,000 human development undergraduate majors in the United States of which approximately 15% are underrepresented minorities. Blacks and Hispanics are often underrepresented in graduate studies and particularly in full professor and leadership roles. SRCD’s Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee and Teaching Committee saw the opportunity to pique the interest of a broader diversity of potential developmental scientists at an earlier stage in their own career development.
With funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, SRCD launched a project in mid-November 2019 to increase the visibility of leading developmental scientists of color who have made critical research contributions and paved the way, through mentoring and advocacy, for younger scholars of color. What resulted is a series of four videos, featuring 12 scholars, including narratives of these leaders’ professional trajectories, the challenges they have faced along the way, and their perspective on how diversity enhances the contributions of developmental science. Pedagogical materials to accompany each of the four videos were developed by SRCD’s Teaching Committee.
Interviews of major figures in the fields of child development and child psychology, as well as other related fields, are included in the collection. Each person was interviewed by someone whom he/she selected, and the recordings were then transcribed, edited for accuracy, and approved before inclusion in the collection. Some scholars in this project are now deceased, while others are alive and well; many played key roles in the governance or service of SRCD. There are many interviews that are in different stages of the Oral History Project.
What is the Teaching Institute?
The SRCD Developmental Science Teaching Institute, which takes place the day before SRCD’s Biennial Meeting, is designed for teachers of developmental science courses at all levels who wish to develop strategies for engaging students, explore new ideas, update their knowledge base, and share perspectives with like-minded professionals. Encompassing topics that are relevant to beginning and advanced teachers of developmental science alike, the Institute provides sessions of general interest on cutting-edge teaching practices, a variety of breakout sessions, a poster session, and opportunities for interaction in order to share ideas among participants.
The Institute’s diverse presentation formats allow for informal exchange and enable participants to select an agenda that meets their professional development needs. This is an all-day pre-conference experience the day before the SRCD Biennial Meeting. Teaching Institute Travel Awards will be available on a limited basis. Graduate students, early career faculty, those who will be presenting at the Teaching Institute, and those who receive limited support from their home institutions will receive priority consideration.
What types of submissions are we looking for?
While we encourage submissions that address teaching and learning broadly in the developmental sciences, this year we are particularly interested in submissions related to teaching diversity, inclusion, and equity. Submissions that promise to advance our abilities to reach and meet the needs of all students and to facilitate productive classroom dialogues on issues of equity, inclusion, and other social justice issues are particularly welcome. Also welcome are submissions addressing universal course design that enable courses to be inclusive of all students and minimizes barriers to learning and the need for special accommodations. Submissions that involve evidence-based practice are preferred. Submissions may be geared towards teachers at any level of experience, from novice to experienced instructors, and at any type of institution (e.g., high schools, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, research institutions).
Programs for previous Teaching Institutes
The SRCD Teaching Committee is proud to support the SRCD Teaching Mentorship Program, developed in cooperation with the Student & Early Career Council (SECC). The purpose of the program is to assist novice or early-career teachers in navigating faculty life through developing a relationship with a more experienced faculty member, or mentor, from another institution. The mentor will serve as a resource for teaching ideas and feedback and a guide for managing interactions with students, other faculty, and administrators. The mentee will bring his or her fresh energy and ideas to the relationship as well, allowing reciprocal benefit for both mentor and mentee.
We seek mentors and mentees to participate in the program. Mentors and mentees will be give special recognition at the SRCD Teaching Institute. In addition, a special session devoted to mentoring will enable mentors and mentees to meet with one another.
Preparing a Teaching Statement and Teaching Portfolio
When applying for a faculty or lecturer position, a statement of teaching is an invaluable supplement to your CV and help you secure an interview at the institution with whom you have applied to work. It is also important for promotion review, and simply to help you formulate your own philosophy and pedagogical approach. Stated or unstated, everyone has a teaching philosophy. The goal of your teaching statement is to provide an overview of your teaching approach and teaching style, your goals and priorities in the classroom, and your priorities as an instructor.
The following questions and suggestions can help guide the preparation of your teaching statement:
- What do you believe about teaching and learning? Why?
- How do your beliefs and values play out in the classroom?
- How do you deal with variation among students with regard to cultural background, identity, and aptitude?
- What are your ultimate goals for your students? What does mastery or success look like?
- What are your ongoing challenges struggle with in terms of teaching and student learning?
- Use specific examples. Avoid platitudes like "I try to engage my students" or "I foster a student-centered environment" unless you have examples to illustrate how.
- Cite sample exercises or assignments as exemplification of your teaching values.
- When writing your statement, consider the needs of the institution to which you are applying. Frame your statement to reflect their expectations and priorities (while being honest about what you’re able and ready to do). You may be well served by adapting your style (while maintaining your overall philosophy), to the expectations and goals of that institution. Find out what they value, and highlight commonalities between their mission and your teaching philosophy.
- Highlight specific courses you enjoy teaching or would be interested in developing. Comment on class formats and sizes.
- Show evidence of your receptivity and responsivity to feedback from students and mentors –how have you worked to improve your teaching efficacy?
- Keep the statement concise (you can augment with sample teaching materials, see Teaching Portfolio section below).
- Keep your tone positive, engaged, and sincere. Avoid speaking negatively about students.
- After drafting your statement, solicit feedback from peers and senior mentors.
A portfolio is a collection of documents that depict the nature, quality, and scope of an individual's teaching. In other words, the teaching portfolio provides evidence with regard to one's strengths, values, approach, and accomplishments as a teacher. The portfolio should include both sample materials and assessment information.
Teaching portfolios will often include at least some of the materials below:
- Lists of courses taught, with dates and institutions/departments
- Assignments and activities
- In-Class interactive exercises
- Recordings of your lectures
- Grading rubrics
- Student course evaluations
- Peer/mentor teaching evaluations
- Self reflections on personal teaching goals and action plans to progress as a teacher
- Evidence of participation in teaching workshops, seminars, and training experiences