Today we introduce our third educator who will be posting on the Craft of Teaching blog this year: Stephanie Frank, Lecturer in Religion and Humanities at Columbia College Chicago. Find out more about Stephanie below…
CoT: What was your area of focus and year of graduation (or expected graduation) at the Divinity School?
SF: History of religions, 2015
CoT: What do you most wish you had learned about teaching as a doctoral student? (and/or) What surprised you the most as a new faculty member?
SF: I wish I had learned how central it is to the project of teaching to secure buy-in from students—and how that entails very different things in different contexts and among different student populations.
CoT: Briefly describe a course you’ve never taught but would like to.
SF: I have always wanted to teach a class that tries to make sense of the category of ‘political theology.’ I am especially interested in the relationship of historical claims about the relation of theological and political ideas to various constructive/normative projects.
CoT: If you could co-teach a course with any person alive or dead, who would it be and why?
SF: I really regret that I never had a chance to study with Jonathan Smith; I can’t even imagine how much I would learn from co-teaching with him, both about religion and about teaching.
CoT: You’ve been bitten by a radioactive _____ and your new superpower of _____ has instantly made you a more effective teacher.
SF: I don’t know what radioactive bite would communicate it, but I think the superpower of silence—of being willing to ask a question and then just wait—is a powerful improvement to teaching.