I have had incredibly teaching opportunities during my almost ten years at Binghamton University. In the past, I have taught for the History Department, (both as the instructor of record and a teaching assistant), the Russian and East European Program, and the Languages Across the Curriculum Program. I love teaching and believe it makes me a better historian, and I was very gratified to be honored with a 2017 Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award from Binghamton University.
As a teacher, I strive to create classrooms that are both challenging and rewarding, that provide students with the tools to deepen their critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills. Primary source analyses are the cornerstone of my pedagogy, and students are always working with and interpreting primary sources in my courses. As often as I can, I try to encourage students to take their learning outside the classroom by assigning museum review projects and leading walking tours of downtown Binghamton.
Last year, many people took a liking to my “Weekly Encounters” project:
This year I've started assigning something I call "Weekly Encounters" where students get credit for telling me how they "encountered" our course content out in the wild. The goal is to help them appreciate how much history is relevant. Here's some of the best responses:— Dr. Chelsea Gibson (@gibsoche) December 10, 2020
Over the last several years, I have also become very interested in digital history and its opportunities for the classroom. In fall 2019, my students in my “Gender and the Cold War” course created interactive timelines based on oral history interviews. You can see some of their final projects below (shared with student permission):
- Timeline on Mary O’Brien Tyrrell by Paula Janakowski
- Timeline on Marjory Nelson by Nicole Solomon
- Timeline on William Giles by Ian Cooper-Smith
- Timeline on Eloise Vaughn by Temmi Daramola
- Timeline on Valerie Buchanan by Rachel Oshiro
- Timeline on Salli Benedict by Ariel Makower
In spring 2020, students in my “From Lenin to Stalin” course utilized interviews taken from the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System Online. These sociological interviews are an excellent resource for insight into the Stalinist period, but were recorded thematically. My students, being good historians, ordered them into a clear chronology and also used them to analyze the early USSR. You can see some final projects below (shared with student permission).
- Timeline on a Soviet economic planner (b.1901) by Brandon Barsky
- Timeline on a Jurisconsul (b.1880) by Daniel Mares
- Timeline on a Red Army soldier (b. 1920) Claudia Ni Buachalla
- Timeline on a gulag prisoner (b. 1890s) by Benjamin Ofer
- Timeline on son of a “former person” (b. 1900s) by Jenna Theodorellis
- Timeline on a Cossack peasant (b. 1893) by Thomas Dowling
I believe that teaching is a skill that must be constantly updated, reassessed, and renewed. I regularly work with our resources on campus to develop my skills, and I try to make my syllabi open and available. You can see some of my most recent course syllabi below.