The aim of the Teacher Orientation and Practicum (TOP) is to introduce students to the practical and pedagogical tasks involved in teaching at the undergraduate level, and to provide basic instruction in the effective performance of those tasks. TOP is administered by the TOP Coordinator who is a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy. It includes both instructional sessions and practical applications.
The instructional sessions provide guide-lines for the preparation of course descriptions and syllabi, assignments and examinations, and for the grading of assignments and examinations. In addition, they offer instruction in the ethics of the profession, and guidelines for the preparation and delivery of lectures and the conduct of classroom discussions. The practical applications include: interviews with faculty members about their approaches to teaching and their methods, their successes and their failures; preparation of sample course descriptions and syllabi; preparation and delivery of one guest lecture in a lower-division Philosophy course, student evaluations, and a final review of the student's performance.
Ongoing assistance is provided by experienced, full-time members in the Department of Philosophy.
Students who choose to participate in TOP do so during their second and third semesters of the M.A. Program, unless they enter the program at mid-year. Students who participate in TOP are eligible to apply for positions as Teaching Fellows in the Department of Philosophy.
The TOP Coordinator is Dr. Mark Morelli.