The Teaching and Learning Politics (TLP) standing group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) has just concluded its 3rd Teaching and Learning Summer School, which was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, from June 26 to July 4, 2016. We had 17 participants from as far as Mexico to Australia and we very much enjoyed learning with them. We already look forward to organizing next summer school in 2018.
If you are interested to attend or thinking about recommending the summer school to your PhD students, please check out the 2016 call below. The call for the 4th summer school will be published in August 2017.
The purpose of the summer school is to enhance participants’ teaching practice by introducing them to the principles of student-centred education. The school draws upon best practice in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and will offer a combination of practical and theoretical sessions.
The summer school runs for nine days. Each day consists of three panels covering a variety of topics, a reading session, and individual consultations with the summer school instructors. Following topics are discussed:
- course design and lesson planning
- course alignment
- teaching small and large groups (using traditional activities and newer designs);
- teaching academic writing;
- online teaching and learning;
- tutoring and supervision;
- evaluation and teacher development.
Summer school schedule is available here.
All sessions are organized in an interactive way, encouraging the connection between theoretical knowledge and its practical application in various fields of the Social Sciences. In the later part of the summer school, all participants are invited to design and present an example of a change in their courses based on what they have learnt during the program. All presented examples receive detailed feedback from the session leaders.
See what participants from the 2012, 2014, and 2016 Teaching and Learning Summer School have to say about their experience.
Eligible candidates should be PhD students in the later stage of their study or recent PhD graduates (with no more than 6 semesters of full-time teaching experience) working at any academic institutions in Europe or beyond Europe. The summer school targets PhD students and young professionals from various Social Science disciplines, including, but not limited to, Political Science, Sociology, Area Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, Ethics, Law, and Economics. While teaching experience is not a prerequisite, we prefer that candidates have at least one semester’s experience in teaching at the university level.
The language of instruction is English. Therefore, applicants should have appropriate proficiency in the English language. A strong research or publication record is not required of applicants.
A maximum of 20 participants will be admitted to the school.
Summer school instructors
The summer school is instructed with a team of experienced international tutors:
- Dr. Gabriela Pleschová, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia
- Dr. Eszter Simon, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
- Dr. Agnes Simon, Saginaw Valley State University, United States
A short biography of each instructor can be found here.
All who have successfully undergone the program; receive a certificate on completion. To be awarded the certificate, the participants should attend and actively participate in all the summer school sessions and deliver a presentation following the school instructions. This summer school is worth 3 ECTS credits.
Fees and grants
A generous institutional grant from the ECPR covers most of the summer school costs. In 2016, each participant contributed with a modest fee of €255. This fee covered the full cost of accommodation in a 2-bed room (in Hotel Premium, Bratislava), meals, tuition, and social activities. Participants are responsible for covering their own travel costs.
ECPR offers two individual grants for applicants from the ECPR member institutions mainly to cover their travel costs (In 2016 the individual grant was around €200. The list of the ECPR member institutions is to be found at the ECPR webpage). These grants are available for those applicants who are able to demonstrate how their work could benefit from participation in the course, but who would otherwise be unable to afford to participate. The organizers of the summer school acknowledge the ECPR for their support.
To apply, prospective summer school participants should indicate in their motivation letter (see ‘application procedure’ below) their reasons for receiving the grant.
Applications should include:
- a brief cv (max 2 pages, including a list of 3 key publications & an indication of teaching-related responsibilities);
- a motivation letter of 350-400 words in which applicants explain why they would like to attend the summer school, demonstrate their eligibility, and clarify why they should be chosen (over other candidates). Applicants are expected to show what motivated them to apply to the summer school and how it could make a difference in their professional lives;
- a teaching philosophy of 600-800 words in which the applicants explain what they aim at when teaching, what they think about the teaching and learning process and their job as teachers. They should also illustrate their beliefs with particular classroom examples. In other words, they are expected to explain how they translate their beliefs about teaching into classroom practice.
When writing their teaching philosophy, the applicants are suggested to discuss some of these issues:
- what you think about learning in higher education, about the teaching process, and your job as a teacher,
- how you are trying to attain the aim(s) of your teaching in your everyday teaching,
- how you believe student learning should be assessed,
- any educational theory or principle you feel particularly important and you try to reflect it in your pedagogic practice,
- what you consider major challenge(s) while teaching, specific for your discipline, for you as a beginner teacher, for your institution, etc.
- how you attempt to address these challenges (describe the occasions when you felt you have/have not achieved your aims and discuss possible reasons of your and students success/failure),
- what links you see between your research and teaching,
- why and how you think you would like to change your teaching in the future,
- any need you feel for your development as a teacher.
How to submit the application
The applications should be submitted by email to email@example.com, preferably as one file (for example one Word or rtf. document including first the CV, then the motivation letter[including a request and reasons for an individual grant if applicable], the teaching philosophy). The application files should be named using the applicants’ first name_surname, e.g eszter_simon.doc.
Application deadline: February 20, 2016
Criteria for choosing the participants
All applications will be reviewed by a small committee, which will assess applicants by the following criteria:
- applicants’ level of interest for participating in the program, as seen in the reasons given for wanting to participate and in the overall consistency of the application,
- applicants’ level of commitment to work as a teacher, as seen in applicants’ reflection on their past experience teaching, both positive and negative, as well as in their future plans,
- general quality of the application, as seen by the overall consistency of the application, the quality of writing, and the length and completeness of ideas.
If you have inquiries, please address them to Gabriela Pleschová at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and renew your inspiration and joy from teaching with our dedicated team!