HPS 2000     Teaching Practicum      Fall 2022-Spring 2023

Meeting schedule.

Website for HPS 2497 Teaching Practicum Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

John D. Norton, Department of History and Philosophy of Science,  412 624 5986, jdnorton@pitt.edu
1008C Cathedral of Learning
Fridays, 11:00am - 12:00 noon, roughly each 3 weeks according to the schedule here.


This is a survey course designed specifically for teaching assistants and fellows. The focus will be on practical teaching methods and techniques used in classroom recitations and lectures.

Your Part

1. Attendance at all meetings and active participation in discussion.

2. Preparatory reading and assignments according to the meeting schedule.

3. Observation of teaching by a peer and by an HPS faculty member. Written report due by Last meeting of Fall Term.

4. (second year students) preparation of a syllabus for a fantasy, dream class of your choosing.
    (fourth year students) Preparation of a teaching dossier.
Written submissions due: Last meeting of Spring Term.

Purpose of the teaching practicum

Teaching is one of the core pillars of our profession, and it is important that HPS graduate students develop a suite of knowledge, skills, and documentation related to teaching experience.  This experience should come not only from teaching independently, but from investigating, reflecting upon, and absorbing both a general background on pedagogy as well as strategies specific to teaching history and philosophy of science.  In order to be successful in the highly competitive academic job market, students also need to prepare a substantial teaching portfolio documenting their experience, student and mentor evaluations, teaching philosophy and so on.  The purpose of the HPS teaching seminar is, therefore, to facilitate the integration of both general and HPS-specific pedagogical principles and techniques as students embark on independent course development and teaching, as well as to help students to prepare an important component of their job market dossiers. 

Expectations and Evaluation

HPS students are required to participate in the seminar in their second and fourth years, or the years in which they are teaching assistants and independent instructors for the first times.  This seminar replaces the previously required departmental teaching practicum (HPS 2497) and FACDEV 2200 components of the HPS graduate program.  Each year it is taken, the course is 1 credit per term (for both terms).  The course is taken for an S grade.  For second year students, grading will be based on active participation in the seminar meetings, assignments for each class meeting, and a course syllabus. Fourth year students will be required to complete a teaching portfolio in addition to consistently attending the seminar.

Course learning objectives

Upon completing the HPS Teaching Seminar, students will be able to develop and teach philosophy of science, history of science, and history and philosophy of science courses at the level of a beginning university instructor.  In particular, students will be able to: reflect upon their values and goals as teachers, apply principles of strategic and coordinated course design,develop effective means of presenting instructional information, introduce and guide students in the arts of reading and writing philosophy, utilize a variety of pedagogical resources for teaching at the unique confluence of history, philosophy ,and science, assess students' learning using various formats, and develop strategies for addressing common classroom concerns.  Students taking the course in their fourth years will also complete a job-market ready teaching portfolio.

School Statements

Academic Integrity
All students are expected to adhere to the standards of academic honesty. Any student engaged in cheating, plagiarism, or other acts of academic dishonesty would be subject to disciplinary action. Any student suspected of violating this obligation for any reason during the semester will be required to participate in the procedural process, initiated at the instructor level, as outlined in the University Guidelines on Academic Integrity. This may include, but is not limited to the confiscation of the examination of any individual suspected of violating the University Policy.

Disability Services
If you have a disability, contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS), 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-7355 (TTY) as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

Statement on Classroom Recording
To address the issue of students recording a lecture or class session, the University’s Senate Educational Policy Committee issued the recommended statement on May 4, 2010. While it is optional, the Committee recommends that faculty consider adding the statement to all course syllabi. “To ensure the free and open discussion of ideas, students may not record classroom lectures, discussion and/or activities without the advance written permission of the instructor, and any such recording properly approved in advance can be used solely for the student’s own private use.”

July 2022 and later.