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Center for Teaching Excellence

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Master Class Series

Spring 2021 Application Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2021

The Master Class Series is an initiative of The Center for Teaching Excellence to provide specialized instruction to faculty members on a specific pedagogy discipline. The Master Class Series is designed to bring faculty and instructors together who are interested in exploring ways to advance their teaching or learning new methods in a specific area. The Master Class is led by a “Master Instructor” who has been identified as an expert on the topic.

Each semester a new Master Class Series topic is offered. The topic for the Spring 2021 Master Class is “Metacognition: What it is and Why We Need It” facilitated by “Master Instructor”  Kristina Grob, Assistant Professor of philosophy at USC Sumter.

Master Class Series Requirements

Faculty and instructors must apply for consideration for the Master Class Series. Faculty and instructors who are accepted into the Master Class Series must agree to attend prescheduled Master Class session. The Master Class Series is scheduled in advance and is listed below. To receive a Master Class certificate of completion, faculty and instructors must attend all three sessions.

Any faculty member at UofSC-Columbia, Palmetto College regional campuses or USC Schools of Medicine (Greenville and Columbia) are eligible to apply for the Master Class SeriesThis program is not open to graduate students nor adjunct instructors.

Master Class participants are expected participate in each session by engaging in seminar discussion, group discussion and completing assignments. Accepted faculty and instructors will be provided a letter of intent once they are accepted into the Master Class. The master class series will be offered virtually and is accessible through Blackboard Collaborate.  The Blackboard Collaborate link will be provided to master class participants.

Master Class Series Spring 2021 Online Application

Application Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2021


Master Class Series: Metacognition: What it is and Why We Need It

Spring 2021 Schedule

Metacognition: What It Is and Why We Need it

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 2:50 pm – 4:05 pm

In the first session, we'll get a big-picture understanding of what metacognition is. We'll do a few exercises together to practice identifying metacognitive skills in action, and then we'll work in pairs to identify current baselines to determine (a) where we were already implicitly and/or overtly teaching for metacognition; (b) how similar metacognitive skills show up in different disciplines and different kinds of teaching styles; (c) where everyone thinks they want to shift or level up -- provisionally speaking for now. 

Student Metacognition and How to Cultivate It
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 2:50 pm – 4:05 pm

In this session, we'll talk about how to cultivate metacognitive skills in our students so they can learn more efficiently, with less struggling and better results. Much of this session will rely on the work of Saundra McGuire, specifically her book Teach Students How to Learn. Similar to the previous session, we'll discuss discipline-specific ways to adapt and adopt what McGuire describes. We'll also talk about ways to address common student objections to attempts to encourage better learning practices, especially this one: students often have learning habits that seriously hinder their learning, but they also see instructor efforts to help them identify and eliminate those habits as tyrannical and infantilizing. 

Faculty Metacognition and Transformative Teaching
Thursday, April 8, 2021, 2:50 pm – 4:05 pm

Faculty who are serious about teaching for metacognitive skill-building must also aim for stronger metacognitive skills ourselves. Here, we'll look at the difference between novices and experts and talk about how we make our expert-level understanding clearer to our novice students. We'll use David Concepción's article "Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition" as an example of a subject-expert who has also become expert at making clear his methods to novice thinkers. With that as our background, we'll discuss how we might get better at showing our students how we think, read, and approach problems in our subjects so that students can better model their habits on ours. We'll end by revisiting what we did in Session I, taking the baselines we identified and adding to them so that we have not only a "map" of next steps for ourselves in our metacognitive development, but also of how metacognition can show up across the curriculum.

About the Faciliator

Kristina Grob is assistant professor of philosophy at USC Sumter, one of the Palmetto College Campuses of the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, the premier organization in North America dedicated to the advancement of the art of teaching philosophy, where she serves on several committees and has led and co-led several workshops on teaching and learning. At USC Sumter, she regularly teaches intro-level classes in philosophy and in women's and gender studies, and so gets many opportunities to develop new experiential assignments and practices for helping students cultivate habits of learning that align with transformative education.


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