Graduate TA Development

This week, I received a request for research on how to effectively support GTAs (thanks, Kiik). So, I would like to share the 2014 article entitled, "TAs Thrive in a Collaborative Team: A TA Development Case Study" by Cassidy, et. al. This article "informs the design of courses to effectively foster TA PD for the best possible quality of instruction."The authors found that as "contributing members of a team, they learn about teaching, curriculum development, mentorship, and leadership through observation, practice, collaboration, and reflection."

The results indicate that a well-prepared GTA will have experienced and contributed to curricular design; have the opportunity to create and reflect on their own teaching philosophies; and to apply the skills, knowledge and attitudes. The authors remind us that "during the developmental process, it is important for GTAs to have continual feedback and support with regards to their teaching (Gardner & Jones, 2011; Pentecost et al., 2012). As such, GTAs can develop their teaching skills with collaborative, real-time feedback (Bomotti, 1994)."

Also, the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University shares resources for connecting with GTAs:

  • Questions TAs Might Ask

  • The TA Experience

  • Learn by Doing

  • Learning from TAs

  • Graduate Development Network

Cassidy, A., Vivienne, D., Lam, K., Welsh, A., & Fox, J. (2014). Teaching assistants thrive in a collaborative team: A TA development case study. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 7(2).

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