The Journal of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development, Vol. 2

The Journal of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development, Vol. 2

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Editor: Karron G. Lewis

Based on popular demand, New Forums Press has reproduced all past issues of this journal in complete bound volumes. The journal was published under this title through volume 10, and all issues are available printed by volume. Beginning with volume 11, the content of the periodical was expanded and is now published as an edited book series titled Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development.

Initially published quarterly to highlight those aspects of the teaching assistantship which prepare graduate students for the multiple roles they play as assistants as well as for the multiple roles they will play as professionals upon leaving graduate school. The full range of issues involved in the administration of teaching assistant programs were addressed in the journal. Volume 2 was published from Fall 1994 through Spring 1995, and is presented here with all issues bound in one number.


Teaching Assistant Deployment and Development: Who, Why and How                5

By Leo Davids

The author presents two general models of TA development. The first, titled

Developmental/Apprenticeship Perspective, is characterized by underlying objectives which cluster around investment in the future by encouraging and promoting instructional ability among TAs. The second model, titled Cost Efficiency Consumption Perspective, is characterized by a present-oriented policy which focuses on "getting the job done" in the current semester or year in the most convenient way. The author further presents specific suggestions for enhancing the TA's contribution to university teaching.


A Cross-Disciplinary Study of GTAs' Views on Topics Used in Training Programs   13

By David E. Williams and Kristi A. Schaller

The training of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is a critical element of the eventual success or failure of undergraduate students who enter their courses. Therefore, GTA training becomes an important endeavor. This study sought the input of veteran GTAs to determine which topics might be most beneficial to future GTAs in their training programs.


A Case Study of Molding the New Generation: Factors Which Impact Science Education Graduate Teaching Assistants' Attitudes and Behaviors               21

By J. Randy McGinnis

This study identifies the behaviors and attitudes of three science education graduate students assigned to two different science education professors. These professors taught separate sections of the same science methods course at a university. Data collection methods used were qualitative. Patterns of similarity and differences in the behaviors and attitudes of the graduate assistants recognized in the data became analytic concepts, the constructs. The constructs for graduate assistant behavior were professor-prompted behaviors and career-prompted behaviors. The constructs for attitude were loyal follower, drafted worker, and critical constructor. Throughout the study, these constructs were tested for validity by looking for conflicting elements in the data. Insights emerging from this study suggest that there is an interaction between the pedagogical soles of the professors teaching the different sections and the career aspirations of the graduate assistants. The result is differences in behavior and attitude exhibited by the assigned graduate students, some of which is arguably not beneficial to their professional development or to future improvement in science education instruction.


Sexual Harassment and the ITA Curriculum          31

By Andrea Tyler

In spite of the current attention given to issues of sexual harassment in US businesses and universities, only 50% of the training programs for International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) recently surveyed (Arensen, 1993) addressed issues of sexual harassment. This paper argues that discussion of sexual harassment should be a standard part of the ITA curriculum because perceptions of sexual harassment vary cross-culturally, issues of sexual harassment affect many aspects of teaching, and most ITAs are confused about the issues. Suggestions for teaching about sexual harassment are presented.


Resources           43


Upcoming Events             44


Cooperative Learning and the Role of the TA      53

By Bradford Kline

This article contrasts the teaching assistant's role as group facilitator in a math or science workshop with that of the traditional lecturer or discussion leader. The article then describes an orientation in one particular program designed to help TAs feel more comfortable with that role.


The Role of TAs in Coherent Language Curriculum Development               63

By Ronald P. Leow

In an effort to promote TAs’ role in the context of the language curriculum, this paper describes one model of coherent language curriculum that acknowledges the crucial role TAs play in its development. It is going to be underscored that the ultimate success of this coherent curriculum depends heavily on the education, development, and successful performance of its TAs. It will then be shown how this prominent role of the TAs can address several concerns raised in current literature, namely, TAs’ professional development, TA preparation for teaching at different levels, the lack of visibility of and respect for both Language Program Directors/Coordinators (LPD) and TAs, consistency in grading between multisection courses, and coherence in the language curriculum.


The Anticipatory Stage of TA Socialization: An Initial Investigation              71

By Scott A. Myers

Research has not examined the anticipatory stage of socialization as it applies to the teaching assistant (TA). This paper examines three components of anticipatory socialization: (a) vocational choice, organizational choice, and preservice training. Two hundred and thirty-six (n =236) TAs’ enrolled in a university-wide orientation program participated in this study. Results indicate that many factors influence TAs’ vocational choice and organizational choice. Furthermore, TAs reported that participation in the orientation program generally lessened their communication concerns and fears. Additional research regarding TA socialization is needed.


Using Focus Groups in the Training of Graduate Teaching Assistants        79

By John Austin

The paper describes the rationale for and some logistics of using focus groups in the training of graduate teaching assistants (TAs). Focus groups were used during the “Teaching of Psychology”: a required course for all TAs in the Psychology Department at Florida State University (FSU). The process is described to provide other programs a basis from which to start their own focus group process. A brief discussion and evaluation of the focus group is included.


Resources           83


Upcoming Events             85


Bright Ideas        86


Supervising Graduate Teaching Assistants: An Adaptation of the Integrated Developmental Model          93

By Loreto R. Prieto

A model for supervising graduate teaching assistants, based upon Stoltenberg and Delworth's (1987) Integrated Developmental Model, is offered. Empirical research is reviewed to establish the applicability of the model to graduate teaching assistants. Issues regarding developmental stages, structures, environments and teaching domains are outlined. Suggestions for future research are offered.


Enhancing Relationships Between Instructors and Teaching Assistants    107

By Steven A. Meyers

This article presents several ways for instructors to enhance their relationships with teaching assistants (TAs) based on results from a survey of 57 advanced level TAs. Suggestions include treating TAs with respect; providing structure for the TA experience; displaying interpersonal sensitivity in instructor-TA interactions; assigning appropriate responsibilities and granting TAs sufficient autonomy; and modeling enthusiasm for teaching and concern for undergraduate students. These suggestions are discussed in detail and are illustrated with comments from survey participants.


Classroom Videotaping: A Protocol for Camera Operators and Consultants           113

By David Rudge

The value of classroom videotaping as a method of instructional improvement is stressed in a number of recent articles. Nevertheless, most of these works continue to focus on the product, rather than the process of videotaping. This article discusses practical strategies for the process of videotaping for use in teaching consultation.


Toward Instructional Improvement: Reflections and Insights on a Canadian Journey        125

By Edwin G. Ralph

The author presents some key insights extracted from an analysis of a 4-year initiative in GTA instructional improvement, as experienced at one Western Canadian university. Implications are drawn for future program planning (in this and other institutions) through a comparison of this initiative to a conceptual framework derived from the research on educational change.


Resources           135


TA Talk 135


Feedback Please              139


About the Editor:

Dr. Karron G. Lewis is Assistant Director and Coordinator of the TA Training Programs at the Center for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. In her positions, she consults with University faculty members and TAs on a one-to-one basis to assist them in improving teaching, conducts departmental and university wide workshops on a variety of topics, assists departments in developing unified course syllabi and objectives for multi-session courses, engages in research activities and periodically acts as a consultant and conducts workshops for faculty members and TAs at other institutions. She is the editor of The Journal of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development and The TA Experience: Preparing for Multiple Roles and has written numerous book chapters and journal articles on both faculty and TA development.

Details: Volume 2, 1994-95, bound complete issues [ISSN: 1068-6096; 8-by-10-inch; ISBN: 1-58107-192-2]