The Journal of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development, Volume 2

Key Information

Volume 2, 1994-95, bound complete issues [ISSN: 1068-6096; 8-by-10-inch; ISBN: 1-58107-192-2] $22.95


The Contents

JTA02coverTeaching 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

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