Teaching

Call for submissions: CHA's Teaching Prize - Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Published on March 9, 2021

In the Spring of 2020, the CHA Teaching and Learning Committee awarded the first two teaching awards that responded to CHA members that have supported a greater recognition of teaching and learning among members.  We are happy to announce that nominations for the CHA Teaching Awards are open until 31 March, 2021.  These awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the CHA that will be online this year. The committee is also grateful to the CHA Council that has also added a monetary prize of $ 250 for each prize to the winners.

FOUR (4) winners will be chosen: two in the category of “Early or Alternative Career”: One in Canadian history and one in other than Canadian history and two in “Open Career State”: One in Canadian and one in other than Canadian history.

As indicated last year, we would like to emphasize that the awards are open to any post-secondary instructor teaching in any geographical, thematic, or temporal field in historical studies who has a record of excellence in emphasizing student engagement with primary sources in their courses. So not just full-time faculty, not just Canadianists, not just people teaching courses in and for history departments.  Please consider applying! The deadline for applications is March 1st and specific details can be found below and on the CHA Prizes website

We would very much like to introduce more teaching awards into the CHA Prize roster but those plans are contingent upon the success of these awards so please consider applying or bringing this to the attention of a colleague who you think deserves to be recognized for their teaching excellence.

The CHA’s Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources Awards

These annual prizes seek to recognize post-secondary instructors teaching in any geographical, thematic, or temporal field in historical studies who have a record of excellence in emphasizing student engagement with primary sources in their courses in effective, critical, sustained, and, possibly, innovative ways. Effective teaching about the question of primary sources and how people today should contend with them are the central aspects of this award. 

·      Our definition of “primary sources” should be understood in the broadest terms and includes visual, aural, verbal, material, digital, and memorized or remembered items.

·      These prizes do not preclude the consideration of historiographical teaching (i.e./ approaching secondary and tertiary sources as primary sources).

·      These prizes do not preclude, and indeed encourage, pedagogy that fosters critical approaches to historical empiricism and “the archive” as embroiled in past and present political struggles.

FOUR (4) winners will be chosen: two in the category of “Early or Alternative Career”: One in Canadian history and one in other than Canadian history and two in “Open Career State”: One in Canadian and one in other than Canadian history.

Winners will be announced at the 2021 CHA Annual Meeting (at the Annual CHA Prize Ceremonies). The deadline for nomination packages is 31 March 2021.  Nomination packages must be sent to teachingblog@cha-shc.ca on or before the deadline.  For information about nomination package content and judging criteria, see below.

1) Early or Alternative Career Award

·      open to any post-secondary part-time or contract instructor, adjunct professor, or early career (0-5 year), untenured full-time instructor/professor who can

·      demonstrate excellence in teaching with primary sources across a minimum of THREE (3) courses (note: this includes the same course being taught three times, even if all three iterations happened in the same semester)

·      the courses do NOT have to be taught out of a history department but should feature an ongoing historical component to them

·      this category is not open to emeritus faculty

·      people can nominate themselves for this award or be nominated by a peer or department/unit chair 

·      nomination packages can be up to 15 pages long, exclusive of syllabi and the nomination cover page, and must be submitted as a single pdf file
  

Nomination packages may include (this list is not exhaustive or mandatory, just meant to offer examples):

·      a 500-word statement from the instructor outlining and explaining their approach to teaching with primary sources and the three courses (minimum) with which they are applying;

·      a letter of support from the department chair or other full-time faculty member in which the instructor has taught who has witnessed the instructor’s teaching with primary sources and can provide a detailed qualitative assessment of the instructor’s teaching effectiveness;

·      one or more course outlines/syllabi, complete with details of the number of people in the class, assigned readings, and the structure of assignments;

·      testimonies from students who were registered in one or more classes about the teaching effectiveness of the instructor, ideally focused on engagement with primary sources;

·      a detailed assignment from a syllabus that showcases primary source engagement and how this was assessed by the instructor;

·      a detailed lesson plan with a paragraph or more reflecting on the success of the plan

·      formal teaching evaluation reports, or information culled from them (note: this is not mandatory and the adjudicators will be made aware of the numerous critiques that exist about the validity of teaching evaluations)   

Adjudication criteria:

·      teaching how to be critical about primary source engagement

·      depth of focus on primary sources in specific sessions or with specific assignments

·      consistency of focus on primary sources throughout a course and/or throughout 3 courses

·      “focus on primary sources” can mean teaching about: “silences” in the archive, the range of sources available, where to find sources and how to work with them, historical or archival theory especially via specific primary source examples, and/or assignments that incorporate the critical use of primary sources

·      other criteria taken into consideration may include: ability to incorporate a focus on primary sources across a range of courses (i.e./ from low-enrollment seminars to high-enrollment survey courses); ability to teach about a range of types of sources; innovation (factoring in what this might mean for different types of courses); evidence of student satisfaction and teaching effectiveness; the incorporation of non-written, non-English, non-Western, non-modern sources in effective ways. 

Nomination packages can be up to 15 pages long, exclusive of syllabi and the nomination cover page, and must be submitted as a single pdf file. Packages should be emailed to teachingblog@cha-shc.ca.  

The due date for packages to be received is 31 March 2021. Winners will be announced at the 2021 CHA Annual Meeting. 

2) Open Career State Awards

·      open to any post-secondary instructor (part-time, full-time, contingent, untenured, tenured, emeritus, et cetera) who can demonstrate

·      a record of excellence in teaching with primary sources across at least SEVEN (7) courses, of which THREE (3) have to be entirely different courses

·      team-taught courses can count and, in instances where teams have been teaching for FIVE (5) or more courses, teams can apply for this award

·      the courses do NOT have to be taught out of a history department but should feature an ongoing historical component to them

·      people can nominate themselves for this award or be nominated by a peer or department/unit chair. 

·      nomination packages can be up to 25 pages long, exclusive of syllabi and the nomination cover page, and must be submitted as a single pdf file

Nomination packages may include (this list is not exhaustive or mandatory, just meant to offer examples):

·      a 500-word statement from the instructor outlining and explaining their approach to teaching with primary sources and the courses with which they are applying;

·      up to two letters of support from full-time faculty members in the department in which the instructor has taught who have witnessed the instructor’s teaching with primary sources and can provide a detailed qualitative assessment of the instructor’s teaching effectiveness;

·      three or more course outlines/syllabi, complete with details of the number of people in the class, assigned readings, and the structure of assignments;

·      testimonies from students who were registered in one or more classes about the teaching effectiveness of the instructor, ideally focused on engagement with primary sources;

·      a detailed assignment from a syllabus that showcases primary source engagement and how this was assessed by the instructor;

·      a detailed lesson plan with a paragraph or more reflecting on the success of the plan

·      formal teaching evaluation reports, or information culled from them (note: this is not mandatory and the adjudicators will be made aware of the numerous critiques that exist about the validity of teaching evaluations)  

Adjudication criteria:

·      teaching how to be critical about primary source engagement

·      depth of focus on primary sources in specific sessions or with specific assignments

·      consistency of focus on primary sources throughout a course and/or throughout 7 courses

·      “focus on primary sources” can mean teaching about: “silences” in the archive, the range of sources available, where to find sources and how to work with them, historical or archival theory especially via specific primary source examples, and/or assignments that incorporate the critical use of primary sources

·      other criteria taken into consideration may include: ability to incorporate a focus on primary sources across a range of courses (i.e./ from low-enrollment seminars to high-enrollment survey courses); ability to teach about a range of types of sources; innovation (factoring in what this might mean for different types of courses); ability to teach about primary sources to different levels (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th-year, MA, PhD; taking into consideration how not all instructors have access to graduate teaching); evidence of student satisfaction and teaching effectiveness; the incorporation of non-written, non-English, non-Western, non-modern sources in effective ways. 

Nomination packages can be up to 25 pages long, exclusive of syllabi and the nomination cover page, and must be submitted as a single pdf file. Packages should be emailed to teachingblog@cha-shc.ca.  

The due date for packages to be received is 31 March 2021. Winners will be announced at the 2021 CHA Annual Meeting.

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