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1+ 1 = 3: Unanticipated Benefits Of An Integrated Teacher Development Curriculum At Cornell

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.3.1 - 5.3.8



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Paper Authors

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Patricia B Spencer

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Kathryn Hollar

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Session 3230

1 + 1 = 3: Unanticipated Benefits of an Integrated Teacher Development Curriculum at Cornell

Kathryn Hollar, Patricia B. Spencer Cornell University


One of the strategic goals of the Office of Instructional & Research Support in the College of Engineering at Cornell University is to enhance the undergraduate experience through excellence in peer instruction. Through curriculum integration and expansion of existing teacher development programs, we have been able to construct a student community where teaching is discussed and valued. Since our establishment in 1997, we have focused on modifying components of a nationally recognized teaching development program, the College of Engineering TA Development Program, to strengthen a younger program, Undergraduate Cooperative Learning Facilitator Training.

Since its inception in 1987, the College of Engineering’s TA Development Program has evolved into a mandatory, interactive training program. New graduate engineering teaching assistants are led by their more experienced peers, TA Fellows. The corresponding undergraduate program began in 1993 and focused on cooperative learning in math, physics, chemistry and engineering design. Trained undergraduate facilitators teach their peers in small team-based workshops. To streamline and augment training of both groups, we have incorporated the following components from the TA Development Program into the training for undergraduates: • Diversity training • Introduction to teaching and learning styles • Video-taping in the classroom • Implementation of a co-facilitation model at all levels of instruction • A shared resource center to further encourage mentoring, communication and sharing

The immediate goals for integrating these two teaching programs were to 1) streamline training and 2) strengthen curriculum. We have observed the added benefits of professional development and mentoring. Motivated by the continuity and success of the Graduate TA Development Program, we have used the same structures within the Undergraduate Facilitator Training Program. Co-facilitation provides a safe, supported structure for students exploring teaching as a career. Using TA Fellows to deliver components of undergraduate training forges another link in a mentoring network, leading to future faculty in engineering. This paper describes the professional development of students through mentoring and teaching networks at Cornell

Spencer, P. B., & Hollar, K. (2000, June), 1+ 1 = 3: Unanticipated Benefits Of An Integrated Teacher Development Curriculum At Cornell Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8145

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