Teaching Portfolio



  Teaching Philosophy

     (Teaching Philosophy PDF)


As a scholar I study 19th century American texts by women in science; as a teacher I use the principles of the scientific method to help students take control of their own learning. I have learned that those who struggle against barriers to their education, their freedom, and their voice often have the most meaningful contributions to make. I want my students to recognize the power of their ideas and their voices in my classroom. I want to give students the tools, whether in a composition or literature class, that allow them to see themselves as makers of knowledge. I want students to learn to think critically, to make meaning for themselves, and to be confident in the idea that they have something to add no matter their background.

My pedagogy rests heavily on discussion; however, I have found that many students are unclear about how to form a question that encourages their peers to add their own voices to the class. I created the Prezi below to help with this. 

Here you will find links to syllabi I have created and taught.

decorativeIntroduction to Women’s Writing: Representations of Professional Women (pdf)

In this course we will be discovering representations of professional women in a variety of fields through a wide range of texts. We will hear from a multiplicity of voices across time, race, ethnicity, genre, and class in order to discuss both the women written in the texts and the women who wrote them.


Major American Writers: Autobiography (pdf)


In this course we will be discovering “the life that writes itself” through a wide range of texts. We will hear from voices across time, race, ethnicity, gender, genre, and class in order to discuss not only these particular authors and their texts but also to learn more broadly about the purposes, meanings, and definitions of autobiographical literature.


Writing as Inquiry: Women in Science and Medicine (pdf)

women in science

This course is a writing workshop focused on writing as a kind of inquiry. We will be discovering and creating knowledge surrounding texts about American women in science and medicine from the 19th century to today. We will start with historical knowledge and then expand our view to current women of science and the issues that they are dealing with now. We’ll also engage in processes of invention, critical reading, drafting, revision, and editing as we complete our writing projects.


Introduction to Literature: Nature, Nurture, and the Supernatural (pdf)decorative

The peoples of America have long used literature to delineate their values and concerns as their relationship with the world around them changed. We can look to this literature not only to enlighten us about the past but to assist us in discussing today’s issues that are linked to the past.  We will first discuss a broad range of nature writings, then a set of texts (from autobiographies to poetry) that introduce social constructions that seem natural (especially gender), and then move to literature (from non-fiction tracts to novels) that explore what happens when unexplainable events challenge constructions such as gender and nature. This semester we will hear from a wide variety of voices and will take a broad view of the term literature as well, reading in multiple genres from speeches and poetry to short stories and novels.


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Student Examples

Introduction to Women’s Writing: Representations of Professional Women

Context website project assignment:

This project was built across the semester; groups turned in pieces every two weeks and then compiled the information into the web pages you see here. Throughout the process, groups shared their ideas and progress with the class, and all students voted on the theme and the title of the site.

The finished site is: amandacutaiabarnett.com/womenwriterscontextproject

Major American Writers: Autobiography Autobiographical Project

In this class the students wrote short autobiographical pieces for their first essay. For their second essay they were required to transform that piece into a visual essay. I allowed for any and all kinds of projects, both digital and analog.


Importance of Spanish in My Life: Below this student displays her journey to realizing the importance of the Spanish language in her life through Instagram posts.

Below a student tells of his non-traditional route to college and the affect it has had on his life.