Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First name: Ráhel Katalin
- Last name: Turai
"Introduction to Gender Studies" Course Syllabus 1.
Monday, 23 May 2016
Upon this session plan, I held a methodology seminar on sexual biographical interviewing at Göttingen University in June 2016.
Download Productive challenges in sexual biographical interviewing.pptx
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
The power point I used in the seminar on sexual interviewing methodologies
"Dilemmas of women’s and sexual liberation in post-socialist global capitalism" Session design 2.
Download gender-sexual liberation_RahelTurai.pptx
Saturday, 13 May 2017
The power point I used in my lecture at Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. The slides at the end show the questions for individual and group work, as well as a table with items we collected together.
"The Nature of Performativity" (TAship): Course Syllabus 2.
Download Performativity.Nature syllabus 2014.final.doc
Tuesday, 05 January 2016
The syllabus of the course I was a Teaching Assistant in at CEU Gender Studies Department: "The Nature of Performativity", taught by professor Eszter Timár. I participated in each class, led two sessions (marked with yellow), organized students' presentations, read and graded written assignments throughout the semester.
Creative Commons license
Welcome to my teaching portfolio page!
Here you can see my thinking process about teaching and learning Gender Studies. My Teaching Philosophy Statement below rests upon my teaching experiences so far, which are documented with course- and session plans, listed in my CV as well.
⇐ On the left side of the page you can find the materials used in the classes and courses I actually taught.
The items on the right side reflect my development process as an instructor, including session and assignment plans not realized yet. ⇒
The following Teaching Philosophy Statement contains references to all of these elements.
For a scholar in Gender Studies like me, teaching faces particular challenges and, at the same time, opportunities. Based on my teaching opportunities so far (see my CV), I highlight two of these, and propose that a constructivist approach to learning addresses them the most effectively. One concerns the academic integration of the field, therefore the characteristics of the classes to be taught; another concerns the relationship between scholarship and everyday experiences.
First, due to the ambiguous academic acknowledgement of Gender Studies as a discipline, classes are either foundational/introductory for those unfamiliar with the discipline, or focus around very specific topics for graduate students, which two require different strategies. During my teaching assistantship at CEU Gender Department for a nationally diverse MA class on performativity theories, we could immerse into the internal debates of my special research interest. On the other hand, leading an extra-curricular, Hungarian-language BA course in the László Rajk College for Advanced Studies of BCE University required an overall, interdisciplinary view of Gender Studies. There the main question was how I can bring such a view closer to the students (see the two syllabi).
Second, just as in my research, I follow a constructivist-performative approach to learning as well, understanding knowledge as acquired through application, trough interaction with the world (see Biggs and Tang 2011). Owing to the specificities of Gender Studies based on feminism, everyday experiences heavily inform and are informed by scholarship. Therefore, in foundational courses in particular, I encourage students to make personal connections, but always with attention to interpret those in scholarly frames as the basis upon which feminist theories can be applied (Ambrose et al. 2010). In both types of courses, I see my role as facilitating students’ critical thinking processes (see Kugel 1993), therefore my main teaching goals are that the students become able to interpret phenomena through theoretical concepts of the discipline, as well as to be able to reconstruct and then critically question (deconstruct) texts and discourses (see my assignment plan).
In order to reflect these two main concerns in teaching/learning strategies, I understand discussions and debates as key for engaging with feminist theories. In each of my courses, each student is required to present shortly a reading, always together with one or two questions which they think can start a discussion (see my sample syllabus in the Annex). This works well for both types of courses, because it gives students a feeling of relative expertise in one area, even if they have limited or diverse previous knowledge. I sometimes divide the group in two to model a debate with pro and contra arguments (e.g., about decriminalizing prostitution). Here the main challenge I faced during my Rajk College course (and I am still learning how to handle) is the guidance of the direction of debates: how to point out the scholarly implications without imposing those on the students, since students learn most effectively through internalized processes of exploration of a research question. However, at the same time, I have learnt that they also need guidance to be aware of broader structural issues (e.g., of the extent of violence against women by their male partners, or of the economic need for women’s unpaid care work).
Gender Studies is a very text-focused discipline on the one hand, and I consider close reading as playing an important role in it. For this, following what worked well during my CEU TA-ship, as assignments I ask for summaries of key quotes or key concepts covered during the course. Written assignments are ideally both shorter and longer, combining the reconstruction of theoretical arguments and their application to a specific case (see the assignment plan). On the other hand, owing to the everyday relevance of feminism, a great deal of media resources can be used as well, allowing for multi-methodological teaching and learning practices (Michielsens 2009). They are especially useful on the introductory level to demonstrate that theories and everyday cases appear as in dialogue, and students can link them to one another (see the CTL course plan).
Similarly informed by the aforementioned constructivist approaches, I view teaching and learning as a process, where points of transformation are important, both in course design and thinking (see Wiggings and McTighe 2005, Biggs and Tang 2011). I can rely on the transformation of my own feminist thinking towards a more critical-structural one when facilitating students’ gradual understanding. I thus find regular, mutual feedback necessary, which partly takes place verbally during classes. However, discussions might not be comfortable to all (myself included), even if I moderate them in order to give voice to everyone, therefore I often ask students to write down their preliminary thoughts before entering a debate. Based on my experience both at CEU and in Rajk College, it works well if they get written feedback throughout the term on presentations as well as on written assignments, even possibly replacing grading.
Moving to the Gender Institute at Humboldt University, Berlin as a research fellow in 2016 Spring/Summer term has provided me with opportunities to familiarize with, and teach in, the German academic context, as I was also invited to lead a methodology seminar on ‘Productive challenges in sexual biographical interviewing’ at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. Expecting more opportunities to teach both introductory and specialized classes primarily in Hungary, I am most equipped to teach courses on Qualitative (feminist) methodologies; Language and gender/sexuality; Sociology of sexuality; Feminism and sexual Movements in Central-Eastern Europe; Bisexuality, women and men. I envision my future as expanding my knowledge also onto topics less familiar to me to involve students in a shared – coherent, reflective, and critical – thinking process.
Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., Norman, M. K., & Mayer, R.E. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. Jossey-Bass.
Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill and Open University Press.
Kugel, P. (1993). How Professors Develop as Teachers. Studies in Higher Education, 18, 315-328.
Michielsens, M. (2009) The Use of Information and Communication technologies in Women’s Studies. In Braidotti, R. & Vonk, E. (eds.) The Making of European Women’s Studies, Utrecht: Athena, 95-100.
Wiggings, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Presentation for Gender Studies Instructors
"Gender and Bodily Comportment" Session plan 2.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
This is the detailed session plan co-designed with Edit Jeges and Calvin Keogh for the foundational course at CTL. This two-session unit was envisioned to cover issues of bodily comportment.
Poster for the session plan
Download Assessment development_RahelKTurai_2016.doc
Monday, 23 May 2016
This document makes visible my thinking process about designing assignments, in the framework of a course I would be happy to teach in the future ("Language and Sexuality"). I worked on this assignment development guide in a CTL course of 2016 Winter term.