Grad travels to Republic of Georgia to share teaching methods


R. Jefferson George, a 2014 College of Education doctoral graduate, traveled to the Republic of Georgia in April to share teaching methods from the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program (G*STEP), a free program for graduate students to prepare future educators in higher education.

George and former UNT student Davit Darsavelidze, who is from the Republic of Georgia, led a week-long workshop at Tbilisi State University through the Muskie Mentor/Advisor Exchange (MAX) program. The MAX program supports continued professional relationships between Muskie alumni and their American host advisors, supervisors, professors and mentors. In Georgia, George and Darsavelidze presented curriculum focusing on five topics:

  • Presenting the use of technology in the classroom
  • Engaging students in and out of the classroom
  • Using formative assessments to monitor student learning
  • Preparing for your first day of class
  • Creating a teaching philosophy that builds on lifelong learning

They made their presentations at Tbilisi State University and the Ministry of Education, where they spoke to over 200 educators from surrounding institutions in Tbilisi.

 "This was a wonderful opportunity to share what we are doing at UNT in our G*STEP program, and with an international university, as G*STEP keeps its focus in supporting student learning," George said.

The G*STEP members receive frequent tutorials throughout the year to stay up to date on high-quality online and face-to-face instructional methods. In addition, the program features hands-on classroom experiences, online mini workshops and peer mentoring.

The G*STEP program is sponsored by the Toulouse Graduate School and Center for Learning Enhancement Assessment, and Redesign at UNT.

Darsavelidze, who graduated from UNT with a master's degree in 2013, was inspired by the G*STEP program.

"The G*STEP program taught me the changing pedagogy for teaching in university classrooms," said Darsavelidze. "I wanted to introduce these changing methods to my country so that we can meet the needs of today's students."

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