Teaching What You Don’t Know

“Have you ever felt like you were teaching out of your comfort zone?”

Teaching What You Don’t Know

The Top Ten Survival Strategies So You Can Have a Sane Semester

Available for Immediate Download! accessNOW_blue

Hosted by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D.

Taught by Therese Huston, Ph.D.

Therese Huston is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Teaching What You Don’t Know and founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University. She also had a recent series on the Harvard Press blog.

Why is this class important?

University and college faculty are often asked to teach outside of their expertise.  Some people choose to stretch, but many of us find ourselves forced outside our intellectual comfort zones.

Consider this:

  • Departmental budgets are tight and many are being cut
  • New courses are being added to the curriculum all the time, often without new hires to cover them;
  • Faculty are being pushed to teach interdisciplinary courses that span topics they’ve never studied or haven’t touched since their own days as an undergraduate;
  • Even introductory courses to one’s field can encompass unfamiliar topics;
  • In many fields, knowledge is expanding too rapidly for most well-intentioned faculty to keep up, which pushes individuals to specialize;
  • Administrators are jumping on the latest general education bandwagon, and faculty are doing their best to keep up.

And if that isn’t enough, consider that the pressures are greater for women, who often find themselves teaching the large, sweeping introductory courses in the department, and/or for faculty of color, who are in many instances assumed to be a content expert in diversity.

In this workshop, we explore ten savvy survival strategies, drawn from the empirical research literature and interviews with real faculty who teach on the edge of their expertise & do it well, including the following.

  1. Responding to students’ questions when you don’t know the answer;
  2. Recovering gracefully and credibly when you make a mistake in class;
  3. Prioritizing what to read and when;
  4. Deciding who to confide in (in other words, who do you tell that you’re teaching outside of your expertise?)
  5. Starting off right:  What to do the first week of class;
  6. Managing the middle:  What to do the sixth week of class, even though it’s scary:
  7. Finding out what students don’t understand (one quick way);
  8. Motivating your students to think more deeply about the material you do know something about (we’ll consider three strategies;
  9. Deciding which topics to address in class when you’re new to those topics yourself;
  10. And for the next course you’re teaching, designing the course to make it more manageable;

And more, believe it or not?! This teleseminar is free so please let your family, friends, and colleagues know about it so they don’t miss out! To register for this recorded teleseminar, click here or on the graphic at the top of the page and you will be taken to the secure shopping cart.

Here’s what you’ll receive by registering:

  • A packet of handouts to download – for your use while listening to the class and for later reflection and review;
  • An MP3 download of the class – Listen as many times as you need and want to while reinforcing the strategies you learn.
  • And more, of course!

If you aren’t currently teaching what you don’t know, you will be at some point in your career. To register for this recorded, research-based content, FREE teleseminar, click here and you’ll be taken to my secure shopping cart.

Available for Immediate Download! accessNOW_blue

About the Teleseminar Presenter

Therese Huston is the founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University. She had a great time writing her first book, Teaching What You Don’t Know, and and is eager to write the sequel. Her other published works focus on why faculty leave and why they stay, how to keep them engaged despite a less than perfect work life, and how to handle “hot” moments in the classroom.

Therese facilitates writing retreats on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and regularly consults with faculty and administrators to identify sane and sustainable ways to improve what we do as teachers and learners. She has co-chaired two national higher education conferences, and she serves on the board of directors of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.

Therese earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and her B.A. in psychology from Carleton College. After graduate school, she completed a post-doc in clinical cognitive neuroscience at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh. From there she became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Pacific University, and her career as a faculty developer began as Assistant Director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University.

Therese Huston

About the Teleseminar Host

Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., known as “The Ph.D. of Productivity™” is a former teacher, university professor, and Director of her university’s Excellence in Teaching Program. She is currently (and happily) the president of Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. and says:

I have known Therese Huston and her work for some time now.  When her book, Teaching What You Don’t Know was published, I read it in one afternoon, wishing that I had read it when I was still a professor and sometimes teaching “outside my expertise.” It would have helped immensely. At that point, I started emailing Therese and – some might say – pestering her – to be a guest on a teleseminar. Good news! She finally said, “Yes,” and was able to fit it into her incredibly busy (and productive) schedule. We are extremely fortunate to have her.

Meggin McIntosh