Departmental Pedagogy Fellow

Valerie Werder, 2022–2023

Hello! I’m Valerie Werder, the 2022–23 departmental pedagogy fellow in Art, Film, and Visual Studies. As pedagogy fellow, I provide support to AFVS teaching fellows (TFs) and teaching assistants (TAs) on all things pedagogy related. TFs and TAs in the department can reach out to me for individual consultations, gather with a group of peer teachers at bi-monthly Teaching Workshops, ask me to observe one of their classes, and get in touch to find out more about the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard.

In addition to teaching classes on performance, new media, film history and theory, and contemporary art at Harvard, I was previously the co-facilitator of the New York Arts Practicum, an intensive mentorship program for BFA and MFA students. I have extensive experience in arts pedagogy, critical pedagogy, group facilitation, transformative and restorative practices, and experiential learning.

You can get in touch with me at I look forward to hearing from you!


Teaching Workshop (AFVS 330R): The teaching workshop is a gathering space for teaching fellows and teaching assistants in AFVS. Here, we’ll share conversation about our diverse pedagogical approaches, have the opportunity to practice our skills in microteaching sessions, and discuss what’s going on in our classrooms in a supportive community of peers.

This schedule outlines tentative topics to be discussed at each session. That being said, the workshop is a space for department TFs and TAs to use as we see fit: we will prioritize the needs and interests of the people in the room. Participants are encouraged to bring whatever pressing questions, conundrums, difficulties, or successes they’d like into the space for feedback and support.

Interested in joining us? If you’re a TF or TA in AFVS, you’re welcome come whenever you’re able, according to your interest, as seldom or often as makes sense for you! The workshop meets every other week on Tuesday evenings from 5:00–7:00 p.m. in CCVA 402.


Individual consultations: I provide one-on-one teaching consultations to department teaching fellows and teaching assistants. Think of these as office hours with a fellow teacher: you can schedule a consultation with a particular problem in mind (“How can I encourage more participation in my discussion section?” “How do I structure a 4-hour studio course without exhausting myself and my students?”), or we can discuss arts pedagogy and learning more generally. Individual consultations can be scheduled by email.


Peer observations and video consultations: Would you like to reflect on your teaching from the point of view of a student in your classroom? I provide peer observations and video consultations for teaching fellows and teaching assistants in the department. In a peer observation, I’ll sit in on one of your classes and discuss with you afterward; in a video consultation, you’ll record a session of your class and we’ll watch and discuss it together.

The goals of peer observations and video consultations are: 1) for you to learn how to read your classroom and understand how your students are learning; 2) for you to expand your pedagogical repertoire by brainstorming additional approaches and techniques you might use; 3) for you to walk away with one or two things you might work on; and 4) for you to see what’s wonderful about you teaching, so that you can make a conscious choice to keep doing those things.

Interested in scheduling a peer observation or video consultation? Send me an email, or fill out this form on the Bok Center's website.


The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning: I’m the department’s liaison with the Bok Center, and can provide information about resources, workshops, and events, including the Fall Teaching Conference and Winter Teaching Week. I can also work with the Bok Center staff to design and schedule custom workshops tailored to the needs of AFVS faculty, teaching fellows, students, and staff.