Graduate Institute for Teaching (GIFT)
Future professors must not only be
trained as productive researchers, but also as effective classroom teachers. So
the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers doctoral students the
opportunity to participate in the Graduate Institute for Teaching (GIFT).
The program is unique because it
focuses graduate students on an often overlooked but integral component in their
professional lives—teaching and evaluating undergraduates.
Doctoral candidates from across Tufts schools participate in GIFT which results
in an interdisciplinary focus as a basis for all discussions. Students come to
understand issues around leadership, cognition, pedagogy, and methods of
The program is divided into two
phases. During phase I, teaching fellows (TFs) attend a series of summer
workshops on teaching pedagogy. These workshops focus on areas such as syllabus
and course design, lesson planning, teacher-student relationships, and teaching
with technology. Each student also
delivers a practice lesson at the end of Phase I. The lesson—delivered before an
audience of fellows and faculty members—is an opportunity to practice what was
learned during the workshops and receive valuable feedback.
Phase II takes place during the fall
or spring semesters when teaching fellows co-teach a course with a Tufts faculty
member, who also serves as a mentor. In this role, the faculty mentor provides
structured guidance when it comes to classroom teaching (fellows lead a minimum
of two classroom sessions); developing exam and essay questions; and applying
what was learned during the workshops to a classroom setting.
Students accepted into GIFT receive a stipend and
a transcript notation of a non-credit
College of Special Studies course, Graduate Institute for Teaching (CSS 145).
Phase I: Summer Workshops on Pedagogy
Phase II: Classroom Experience
- Graduate Student Teaching Fellows
- Faculty Mentors
Questions about GIFT can be directed to the
Institute Director, Dr. Sinaia Nathanson at 617.627.2515 or
The Graduate Institute for Teaching works in collaboration with the University-wide
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CELT) and is generously
supported by the Tufts Summer School.