TAPcast is an educational podcast created by the TA Project. Professors, graduate students, administrators, and other members of the Rutgers educational community discuss multiple issues regarding pedagogy in the contemporary classroom. Subscribe and learn more about current trends in university instruction, hear creative tips about managing your time in and out of the classroom, and discover resources for expanding your pedagogical repertoire. Episodes are available through your favorite podcast apps or the TAP blog.
In this episode, we talk to Kristina Howansky, a current Ph.D. candidate studying Social Psychology. Our conversation focuses on her strategies for and experiences with classroom discussions about controversial topics. I ask her about strategies for setting the right tone early in the course, ways to moderate the discussion with as little bias from personal feelings as possible, and tips for helping students to feel comfortable sharing their personal experiences. We also talk about diversity in the classroom and how that can affect these difficult conversations, as well as what these conversations look like in a hybrid course. Finally, Kristina tells us about getting students engaged and motivated though growth mindsets and comedy, such as her “potato project.”
In this inaugural episode of TAPcast, we hear from Senior Associate Dean Barbara E. Bender, the Director of the TA Project. We talk about what the TA Project is and how it got started. We discuss how it has evolved and what it looks like today. Finally, we spend some time talking about the motivation behind training new graduate student TAs.