This presentation focuses on two main topics: 1) the current movement by a Ph.D. department to add a segment for GTAs in civilization courses to the current Latin pedagogy course, as well as ways in which this change has been partly implemented in the 2010-11 year, and will be implemented in the future; and 2) the general need in classics programs for a broader and more intensive training of graduate students in basic and advanced pedagogical methodologies and techniques. Such training includes topics like classroom management, classics course design and curriculum development, the use of technology such as podcasting, and multicultural teaching perspectives; feedback on instruction is provided through a variety of methods, e.g. targeted teaching observations by professors and peers, and self-evaluation through videotaping. These two changes are inspired by the recognition of the importance classics courses now hold as most students' initial or only points of contact with the field, as well as the increasing demands upon instructors to increase enrollments and 'justify' their existence within universities, and not least the graduates' own requests for broader training.
The goals of these two changes are, in the immediate future, to improve GTAs' performance in classics as well as Latin courses, and in the long run, to encourage their overall development as teachers. These skills are more necessary than ever for graduates to adapt and succeed as teachers in the university environment as described in Academically Adrift by Arum and Roksa, in which students increasingly display a lack of basic academic skills and personal initiative. If the value of not only classics, but the university itself is to be maintained, then college instructors must find ways to teach as effectively as possible to instill the learning which both studies and personal experience increasingly tell us is not being retained. After all, encouraging graduate students to be not only better teachers of Latin and classics, but better teachers in general, will not only help them communicate more effectively the value of classics to a greater number of students, i.e. to be better advocates of the field, but will also aid them (practically speaking) in terms of job prospects.