Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
While education departments have long studied methods of teaching, strategies for implementing high-impact practices, tactics for assessment and the design of syllabi and various other course materials in their efforts to train future primary and secondary teachers, other academic disciplines have failed to focus on such skills—even in doctoral programs. Faculty in political science spent their college careers learning about the discipline. Across the subfields, higher education has shown a remarkable ability to produce subject-matter experts. Today’s instructors unquestionably leave graduate school knowing a great deal about what they will be expected to teach, but, without taking education courses of their own volition, do they know how to teach it? While some programs have begun making concerted efforts to train teachers—as well as scholars—it still seems normal for students to enter academia with only minor experience as teaching assistants without formalized training. As a result, they are forced to teach themselves how to teach, typically relying on their own past experiences and the advice of those around them. In short, they learn as they go.