Teaching and Advising Portfolio -- Contents

Peter Taylor, April 1995

Table of contents

This explains the portfolio's structure, discusses the three overall goals of my advising and teaching, and provides some guideposts to the portfolio.1 Excerpts from my personal statement are included as an appendix in lieu of an executive summary.

For each course I have included a cover page that reviews the original objectives for the course, changes made, and future plans. This is followed by the most recent syllabus [and the course evaluations from earliest to most recent.]

Undergraduate courses
1. B&Soc 114 / Samp&;TS 114 "Ecology and Social Change"
Freshman writing seminar
2. B&Soc 301/ BioSci 301/ S&TS 401 "The Social Construction of Life"
Core course for the Biology and Society major
3. B&Soc 300/ TXA 301/ S&TS 402 "Investigative Research on the Social Impact of Science"
Workshop research course on science-society issues
4. B&Soc 202 "Statistical Analysis for the Life Sciences"
Summer school course providing a critical introduction to statistical analysis
Senior and graduate seminars
5. B&Soc 460/ RurSoc 660/ S&TS 660 "Social Analysis of Ecological Change"
Graduate/ senior seminar on post WWII analyses of society-environment relations
6. S&TS 662 "Science and Social Theory"
Graduate seminar on selected themes in science studies and social theory:
1991 & 92 theme: "Structure and agency"
1994 theme: "Changing Life in the Old and New World Dis/orders"
7. S&TS 700 "Visualizing the Dynamics of Science"
Graduate seminar on visualization in science and science studies.

8. Independent studies
These have been selected to illustrate the important characteristics, themes, and products of my teaching and advising. They are grouped in sections under three overall pedagogical goals. The exhibits are introduced in a cover page for each section.

1. Reciprocal animation
I promote strong two-way interaction between the sciences and interpretations from S&TS disciplines. The ways I do this are demonstrated in two exhibits:
A: Model courses, which break down the barriers among the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities; and between the sciences and S&TS.

B: Publications resulting from linking my scholarship and teaching.

2. Critical thinking
I encourage students to contrast the paths taken by science, society, learning, and people's lives with other paths that might be taken, and to base actions upon the insights gained. To promote critical thinking my teaching and advising emphasizes:
A: Writing for learning, in contrast with writing to show what a student has learned.
B: Making comments on writing in ways that stimulate rethinking and revision.
C: Exposing the constructedness of teaching and learning; acknowledging the variety of ways people develop questions and come to know what they know.
D: Teaching/learning as a joint dynamic; both learning and teaching benefit from teachers and students viewing the class from both the teacher's side and the students'.
E: Empowerment to act upon critical thinking, building students' confidence to go beyond simply adopting a critical position.
F: Advising towards lifelong learning.
G: Facilitating trans-disciplinary exploration.

3. On-going development of pedagogy.
My commitment to developing S&TS teaching over the long term has led me to experiment, innovate and develop better ways to learn from teaching about teaching and learning. This is evident in my:
A: Developing a large range of S&TS courses.
B: Experimental courses and experimenting within courses to develop pedagogical approaches specifically tuned to S&TS and its open-ended state as a field.
C. On-going development of courses.
D: Varieties of course evaluation, integrated into the teaching/learning process.
E: Promotion of teacher-teacher interaction, especially a teaching co-op among graduate students and faculty.

Author identification, disclaimer, etc.

1. The general rationale for using a portfolio format to document teaching and advising is discussed in Cornell's Teaching Evaluation Handbook. In designing the particular organization of my portfolio, discussions with Douglas Allchin, Ann Blum, Pablo Boczkowski, Jere Confrey, Saul Halfon, Judi Long, Kavita Philip, Irina Konstantinovsky, Dan Tapper and Bill Wittlin were very helpful.