Greenberg PhD Seminars for Effective Teaching


  • Greenberg Coordinator
    (202) 885-2117
    Hurst, Room 214

Mailing Address

The Greenberg PhD Seminars for Effective Teaching provide a three-year orientation to academic professional development and classroom instruction. Participants meet with Greenberg Faculty during the year and attend the Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research & Learning.

Milton Greenberg portrait

"The program began as a government funded experiment and is now widely imitated in major universities. Three ideas underlie the Greenberg Seminar. First, teaching is both an art and science that can be learned through experiential study and practice. There is more to teaching than talking or listening for 50 minutes. Second, teaching should be prized as highly as research. There is no inherent conflict in being a both a scholar and a teacher and dedicating time and energy to their enhancement. Third, college and university teaching represents more than expertise in a scholarly discipline. It means that you are privileged to be part of an extended community that constitutes one of the most important professions in the world."
~ Milton Greenberg

Designed as a complement to the Ph.D. academic experience, the Greenberg PhD Seminars for Effective Teaching provide a hands-on, practical introduction to professional development and classroom techniques. The seminars, designed for first, second and third year Ph.D., meet two to four times each semester.

Year One

Provides doctoral students with an overview of university life:

Envisioning University Teaching

This session encourages students to respond to the question. "What is a university?" and to identify the components of effective instruction. Students have an opportunity to reflect on their own classroom experiences. As a part of the session, students will hear perspectives of two acclaimed American University professors on "Teaching as an Art Form".

Key Challenges: Integrity, Privacy, Harassment

This session focuses on issues within higher education that are critical for students to explore and understand: FERPA and student privacy, sexual harassment and academic integrity. Using case studies, hands-on exercises and discussion, students identify and address the challenges these issues present in a teaching and learning environment. Administrators from American University lend their expertise on these issues and respond to student questions.

Valuing and Working with Diversity in a University Setting

The third seminar addresses issues of diversity, both within the classroom and within the university as a whole. Students explore the current and future implications of diversity as it relates to cam-pus life, pedagogy and approaches to instruction. Students have an opportunity to interact with American University staff and faculty who work with diverse campus populations, for example the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Technology, Academic Support, and Disability Issues

he final seminar focuses on academic support and disability ser-vices with attention to access, accommodations, universal design and technological support. The emphasis is on creating learning environments that meet the needs of all students. As part of the discussion, students hear from American University staff who works directly with students in these areas. During this session, students will also have the opportunity to summarize and apply what they have learned throughout the year.

Alida Anderson
Assistant Professor
School of Education, Teaching and Health

Laura Juliano
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology

Year Two

Provides an insight into the pedagogy of teaching: 

Course Design and Classroom Management

This seminar connects the passion for teaching with the mechanics of classroom management, course design, grading systems and assessment. Students build on the conversation from year one about creating a course syllabus and identifying characteristics of effective instruction. They critically evaluate course syllabi and explore the role of grading as a pedagogical tool.

Teaching as a Craft
This session focuses on teaching as a craft and provides students with an opportunity to explore instructional strategies and class-room management. The second half of the session is devoted to the role of technology in teaching with a focus on the benefits and challenges of on-line learning.

Todd Eisenstadt
Department Chair Government
School of Public Affairs

Marilyn Goldhammer
School of Education, Teaching and Health

Year Three

Provides an opportunity to prepare to apply for a university teaching position:

Applying for Academic Jobs

This session focuses on the practical aspects of looking for a job in academia: reading job announcements, the interview process and navigating the profession. Students will have an opportunity to role play job interviews and to critique draft application materials. Guest speakers will provide hands-on experiences and recommendations.

Preparing to Teach your First Course

To prepare students for teaching their own class, students will discuss course design, principles and practices in syllabus preparation; course elements such as reading, assignments, assessment, and classroom dynamics; and faculty governance issues. The workshop also features a review of participants' draft syllabi.

Cathy Schaeff
Associate Professor of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

Max Friedman
Associate Professor of History
College of Arts and Sciences