Passionate Teaching in the Research Environment: Creating Narratives in the Accessible Classroom

July 6–17, 2020 at the National Humanities Center


The 2019 Graduate Student Summer Residency cohort.
Since 2015, the National Humanities Center has offered PhD graduate students in the humanities an opportunity to learn about and experience best practices in teaching and learning. Each year, a cohort of students work in small teams to address a relevant theme and create group and individual instructional materials.

Focusing on the process of translating research to practice, students are given guidance on how to create meaningful learning experiences for any level audience in sessions led by prominent scholars, master educators, and technology experts. Most importantly, the design of the residency requires direct and collegial work among students from different universities and disciplines, creating a much richer network of humanities professionals.

Program Overview

In 2020 participants will learn how to support storytelling with mapping technology and how to create engaging and accessible activities for the undergraduate classroom using objects and artifacts.

Technology in the Classroom
  • Mapping the Humanities
  • Using GIS in the Undergraduate Classroom
  • Blogging and Assessments in the Digital Age
  • Introduction to Humanities in Class Digital Library
Teaching Methods
  • Object-based Teaching
  • Visual Note-taking
  • The Accessible Syllabus
  • Designing Significant Learning Experiences in Groups and Teams
  • Methods of Teaching in the Undergraduate Classroom
  • Considering the Curriculum
  • Spite Yelp: Student Evaluations and How to Learn From Them
The program also addresses issues of equity in curriculum and classrooms in order to prepare participants for teaching responsibilities at any level of education. Session topics may include:

  • Teaching at an HBCU
  • Teaching at a Community College
  • Passionate Teaching in a Research Environment
  • Becoming a Full Professor as a Black Woman

Program Goals

2019 GSSR
Participants in the 2019 GSSR Program.
The Graduate Student Summer Residency Program focuses each year on a specific pedagogical theme paired with an emerging instructional technology tool. Participants are also introduced to learning science theory to better inform their instructional design and lesson writing.

Throughout the program, participants will work in cross-university and interdisciplinary teams to create instructional materials for their teaching portfolio by applying these skills. Sessions will be designed and led by established scholars in the humanities who can model innovative uses of instructional technology in their research and their teaching. Workshops will provide participants with hands-on experience in connecting their own research to practice.

The primary goals for this program include:

  • Working with a diverse team to identify and map solutions to an instructional challenge
  • Identifying a compelling topic from research and scholarship to develop instructional materials
  • Training participants on the development of classroom-ready materials for the university classroom, including familiarizing them with the most recent research on learning sciences
  • Providing structured feedback on the practice and implementation of writing for a broader audience rather than solely an academic one
  • Writing, revising, and publishing classroom-ready lessons in the Center’s digital repository. These materials will be freely and openly disseminated to the full network of NHC educators. Student authors will receive full citation.
  • Developing skills that are marketable and valuable in the job search
  • Bolstering participants’ CVs through selection to and completion of the National Humanities Center’s Graduate Student Summer Residency Program

More than simply developing a strong pedagogical understanding, this program will also provide a broader introduction to the Center and its work in humanities education and outreach. These activities will aim to:

  • integrate the work of the internship to provide more access to on-going Center initiatives and workplace culture
  • identify a theme with strong cross-disciplinary opportunities that encourages advocacy and outreach at the school, university, and national level

Application Process

Students are nominated into the program by the student’s home institution. The National Humanities Center will accept up to four (4) students per partner institution. NHC staff work with university representatives to develop recruiting materials, including an orientation meeting with faculty and students. The summer program quickly reaches capacity so participating institutions are encouraged to indicate their interest and submit applications as soon as the application portal is opened each year.

Once selected, students will work with NHC staff to finalize travel plans, complete all required paperwork, and prepare for the residency program. Participants will also participate in a short welcome orientation video conference and receive a detailed syllabus.

The tuition cost per participant is $1,750 with a residential option for an additional $2,000 to cover lodging for students located out of the central North Carolina area. Tuition covers all programming for the NHC Graduate Student Summer Residency Program, including materials, books, software, technology support, and lunch and breakfast daily.

Next Steps and Timeline

  • October 7, 2019: Institutional Sponsor Early Window to commit 1 to 4 students closes. The NHC works with representatives to develop marketing and recruitment strategies.
  • November 15, 2019: University partners commit 1 to 4 students. The NHC works with representatives to develop marketing and recruitment strategies.
  • April 10, 2020: University partners submit nominations for up to four current humanities PhD students for a position in the residency program.
  • April 13, 2020: The NHC will establish contact with participants, schedule video orientation, and share expectations and syllabus.
  • July 6–17, 2020: The program will be implemented, including a showcase event to share final work.