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07/26/2019

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Grad Student H

Regarding point 2: Doesn't this put some lower-ranked PhD students at a disadvantage for eventually getting a job? For example, my lower-ranked program only requires PhD students to teach about 6-8 courses during their PhD, but there are some (minimal) opportunities to teach more. These are a mix of intro-level classes and maybe two specialized classes in order to get teaching experience in one's AOSs. If lower-ranked grads need more teaching experience in order to land a teaching job, this might force some of us to adjunct at other universities simply for more experience.

However, given the advice previously posted on the Cocoon that candidates need to prove their AOCs by teaching courses in those areas, this creates a tension. Most universities need adjuncts for intro-level classes, so grad students in the situation I described earlier might not be able to fill out their AOCs with teaching experience in all the areas they might actually be competent in.

How can this tension be resolved?
(a) Petitioning one's program for more teaching opportunities across the board.
(b) Publishing articles in one's AOCs in lower-ranked journals to prove competence.
(c) Claiming an AOC that you might not be able to prove competence in based on teaching or publications.
(d) Hoping for the best in getting a temporary position after the PhD that will fill in the gaps.
(e) Something else?

I worry about (a) not being feasible in many cases. (b) might make the candidate look like they have too diverse of interests and are not really specializing in anything. (c) seems like it could backfire, so (d) might be the best option for this case. Is there anything I might be overlooking which can resolve the tension?

Amand

I probably don't know as much about this as Marcus, but I get the sense that teaching schools care most about:

1. Solo teaching experience (i.e. lead instructor, not the TA)
2. Solo teaching experience at an institution like the hiring institution.

While a mix of teaching, and teaching in AOC is very helpful, it is not as helpful as the above two things. I think adjunct experience is critical for those who want teaching jobs, since rarely do PhD students get (1) and (2) at their own institution. PhD institution are typically R1s - so if you want to get hired by a state or liberal arts school, or CC, you need to teach outside of your PhD institution.

I would gain experience in your AOC another way, and adjunct, given your circumstance. No situation is perfect, and sometimes the best CV requires post PhD experience.

I would add to the above, that the whole "top 5-10" journal thing is heavily biased toward certain areas of philosophy. If you work in a niche area R1s won't require top 5-10 publications, at least not that general ranking you see all the time. They require you to publish in top journals in your area. Also, being a name in your field is even more important than the straight up journal publishing record.

Chris

Grad Student H:

My sense is that if you're teaching 6-8 courses as a solo instructor during your time as a PhD student that's a lot more than most "highly ranked" Phd students get to teach. At the extreme, some students at highly ranked programs get to teach maybe only 1 or 2 solo courses. So you're already at a big advantage (for teaching jobs) over those candidates.

But I'd be curious if anyone has done a systematic survey of how much solo teaching one does as a graduate student. I bet grad students at elite (philosophy) Phd public schools get more opportunity than students at elite private grad programs. And I bet less well ranked programs often have more opportunities because (1) the school is less wealthy and so there's less fellowship money and (2) the school is less wealthy and so they'd rather have more poorly paid graduate students teach than expensive faculty. But I haven't systematically studied this, and I'm relying just on info about a few programs of each type, where the pattern seems to hold.

Amanda

I have seen that highly ranked programs typically not only offer far more funding for teaching free years, but that they often actively discourage teaching. So I'd be surprised if there wasn't a clear trend toward less teaching at higher ranked programs, with a few exceptions here and there.

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