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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.48 - Lessons learned: A discussion of a TA training program for graduate students

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In the intense job market of higher education today, the importance providing graduate students with adequate opportunities for engaging in the practice of teaching is becoming increasingly apparent. (Nyquist, 1991; Pannapacker, 2012) At the same time, many departments often find it extremely difficult to create change in the face of a diversity of opinions and the inertia of long-sustained traditions.(Carlson, 2013) Based on our experience creating a new TA training program, and also a recent study by Jennifer S. Boman, we will lead a roundtable discussion of how TA training programs can create substantive change in the learning experiences of teaching assistants.(Boman, 2013) Topics we hope to touch on include financial and logistical challenges, partnerships with outside experts, and introducing students to the fundamentals of teaching theory and practice within the unique context of the courses offered by one’s department. Finally, we hope to discuss ways to encourage professional development without taking time away from more traditional scholarly and academic pursuits. 


Boman, J. S. (2013). Graduate Student Teaching Development: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Training in Relation to Graduate Student Characteristics. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 43(1), 100–114.

Carlson, A. D. (2013, November 6). Hard Lessons From the Front Lines of Change. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Nyquist, J. D. (Ed.). (1991). Preparing the professoriate of tomorrow to teach: selected readings in TA training. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co.

Pannapacker, W. (2012). Should Students Be Encouraged to Pursue Graduate Education in the Humanities? Journal of Markets and Morality, 15(2), 445–53.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Mackenzie Room

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