SOC 560. Teaching Sociology

Explore pedagogy, theories of learning, teaching techniques, and issues in sociology classrooms. Develop teaching philosophy and portfolio in relation to own teacher identity.

This class is a workshop designed to prepare graduate students to teach their own courses in Sociology.  The reasoning behind this class is simple: most academics spend a large time of their work life teaching, yet most graduate training is focused on how to conduct research.  We are somehow supposed to magically know how to teach, and to teach well.  Although many academics do end up teaching well, it’s often the result of trial and error and putting in long hours reinventing the wheel. The goal of this class is to streamline this learning process and help you teach better, faster. This course is designed to be both theoretical and practical.  We will discuss some of the major educational and professional issues associated with community college and university teaching.  At the same time, you will have the opportunity to develop concrete, hands on skills that will prepare you for teaching your own classes and help to make those classes go more smoothly. There is a wealth of research and theorizing on teaching, as well as practical tips and wisdom from experienced teachers.  We will look at this literature, and give you some hands-on practice with a variety of teaching skills.  At the end of the semester, you will have planned a complete class and be ready to teach it.


Maxine P. Atkinson & Kathleen S. Lowney. 2016. In the Trenches: Teaching and Learning Sociology. New York: W.W. Norton.