“Whether the teacher is authoritarian, undisciplined, competent, incompetent, serious, irresponsible, involved, a lover of the people and of life, cold, angry with the world, bureaucratic, excessively rational, or whatever else, he/she will not pass through the classroom without leaving his or her mark on the students.”
-Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom. 1998
The Department of Sociology offers a multi-level graduate teacher training program. After completing M.A. – level coursework (Joint M.A./Ph.D. students) or 18 hours of sociology coursework at Georgia State (Ph.D. only students), graduate students are eligible to enroll in Teaching Sociology (SOCI 9000) where they study teaching mechanics, practice presentation, discuss pedagogy, develop a course syllabus and supporting materials.
Students who successfully complete Teaching Sociology may be eligible to enroll in the Department’s Teaching Internship (SOCI 9001) where they are paid to teach their own course, meet regularly with other new graduate instructors and receive extensive feedback on their teaching from a variety of sources. Teaching Sociology (9000) is available for non-funded students. Following their completion of the teaching course sequence, funded students become graduate instructors in the department and continue to teach their own courses. Members of the Department’s Teaching Committee observe our graduate instructors annually and provide additional feedback on teaching techniques.
In addition to this extensive training, graduate student instructors regularly use the Director of Instruction (currently Dr. Maura Ryan Bernales) and the Teaching Associate (an advanced graduate student selected by the Teaching Committee in a competitive process and funded by the department) as resources and sources of advice and support. The department recognizes graduate instructor teaching excellence with the Jacqueline Boles Teaching Fellowship awarded annually. We also partner with Georgia State's Teaching and Learning Center for additional professional development opportunities.