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Wednesday, June 22 • 13:30 - 14:20
CON02.07 - Pedagogical Training and the Future of the PhD Program

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Doctoral programs have come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Among their critics are significant stakeholders, including the American Historical Association, which recently invested $1.6 million to reform four flagship programs (Grafton & Grossman, 2011; Jaschik, 2014); the Modern Language Association, whose report on “Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature” stresses “the urgent need for change” (Alonso et al., 2014); SSHRC Canada’s “White Paper on the Future of the PhD in the Humanities” (2013), which has spawned national conferences at McGill (2015) and Carleton (2016); and a former president of Harvard, Derek Bok, whose article, “We Must Prepare Ph.D. Students for the Complicated Art of Teaching” (2013), speaks directly to one of the core concerns of these critics—that is, as the MLA report puts it, the need to “strengthen teaching preparation” (2014) for doctoral candidates.

This session will feature a short research paper that surveys the landscape of doctoral reform, focusing on the experience of English departments. Examining departmentally- and institutionally-led initiatives, the paper will argue for the need to re-imagine the place of teaching and teacher training in the doctoral experience. Two current doctoral students will then provide short, reflective responses in which they will situate their own experiences in relation to the wider trends identified in the paper. These responses will then be followed by an audience-driven discussion in which members will be invited to consider what roles we, as educational developers and/or instructors, might play in meeting these calls for change.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the discourse surrounding doctoral reform, especially as concerns pedagogical instruction

  • Formulate hypotheses as to the roles that we, as educational developers and/or instructors, might or would like to play in the reformed doctoral experience that is on the immediate horizon


Bridgette Brown

Bridgette Brown is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Carleton University and a graduate of the EDC's "Certificate in TA Skills" program. Her research focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canadian literature.

Ajay Parasram

Ajay Parasram is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University and a graduate of the EDC's "Preparing to Teach" certificate program. His research focuses on the colonial constitution of modern nation-stat... Read More →
avatar for Morgan Rooney

Morgan Rooney

Educational Development Facilitator, Carleton University
Dr. Morgan Rooney is an Educational Developer (Educational Development Centre [EDC]) and Adjunct Research Professor (Department of English) at Carleton University. As an Educational Developer, his main responsibility is the pedagogical development of graduate students. As a researcher... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 13:30 - 14:20 EDT
UCC 60