Prioritizing Pedagogy with Libraries

Prioritizing Pedagogy
Teach@CUNY Day is an administrative-led project coordinated by the Teaching and Learning Center, but has its roots grounded in the student-led Purposeful Pedagogy workshop which understood that “most adjuncts enter the classroom without any formal teaching or pedagogical training.”1 In 2012 Sociology doctoral students, namely Jonathon Davis, Sara Martucci, and others teamed with the DSC, the Sociology Students Association, and the Sociology department with funds from the American Sociological Association to create a possibility of collaborative training, integrating technology into the classroom, and peer-led resource sharing for adjunct instruction. Since then, the University has adopted this strategic need and Purposeful Pedagogy became a campus-wide initiative, inviting the library to participate during its second year. The GC library worked with the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development to include CUNY-wide participation.

Working with the Library
By the charge of the Council of Chief Librarians and the University Librarian, since 2004 librarians from across CUNY meet twice a semester to discuss information literacy across CUNY. The convening has a representative from each campus, and has named itself the Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee or LILAC .

Work with Graduate Center students and faculty is especially valuable for LILAC because as the DSC and Adjunct Project note, more than half of undergraduate courses at CUNY are taught by adjunct instructors. Many of these adjunct instructors are CUNY doctoral students.2 Librarians at the CUNY campuses are therefore in a conundrum for reaching out to these un-officed, sporadically located bodies.3Image

May 2nd, Room C-203
On Monday, May 2nd, experienced faculty librarians from Hostos Community College, Queensborough Community College, Brooklyn College, City Tech, Guttman Community College, Lehman, and Kingsborough Community College will be available to supply pedagogical support to GC students, and subsequently, their current and future adjunct faculty.

Students are urged to understand that every teaching faculty member in CUNY, adjunct or full-time, has a campus library liaison who aids in faculty and student use of library resources. This is an opportunity for students/adjuncts to meet librarians from various campuses as part of the LILAC – mandate, to receive hands-on tips for working with the library.

11:15 am: From Facebook to Foucault: Research Assignments & How Students find Resources

Miriam Laskin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Hostos Community College Library
Neera Mohess, Assistant Professor, Queensborough Community College
This workshop provides an overview of library resources available to students and faculty on the CUNY campuses and will offer a hands-on activity on creating a workable research assignment especially for Freshmen and Sophomores.

12:15 pm: Threshold Concepts: Opening the Door to Student Research in the Disciplines

Robert Farrell, Associate Professor, Lehman College
Julia Furay, Assistant Professor, Kingsborough Community College
In this workshop, we’ll explore how threshold concepts – fundamental, transformative ideas within disciplines that open up new avenues of learning – help us introduce students to disciplinary research processes.

2:00 pm: Textbook Alternatives and OERs

Alexandra Hamlett, Assistant Professor, Guttman Community College
Nora Almeida, MLIS MFA, Assistant Professor, City Tech
Mariana Regalado, Associate Profe­ssor, Brooklyn College
In this workshop, learn how to create course readings using subscription library materials and open educational resources as an alternative to assigning expensive textbooks.

The GC LILAC liaison, Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, will also be present for these sessions for additional support. Registration for Teach@CUNY day is still open. 

1. From the Purposeful Pedagogy Open CUNY site.
2. I am still seeking exact numbers of CUNY adjuncts from the GC doctoral student body, but the numbers have been thrown around as 4000 GC students who teach over 7000 undergraduate courses across CUNY. While I investigate, if anyone has the exact numbers, please respond to this post! The TLC is an enacted remedy to this structure as well as initiatives such as the Futures Initiative recent Mellon grant which will support instruction at LaGuardia Community College from GC students, improving humanities education to some 2500 undergraduates.
3. See also a fact sheet from the Adjunct Project on Universities’ Exploitation of Adjunct Labor (2009)

About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.