June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.18.1 - 2.18.5
A Graduate Student’s Views of a Mentored Teaching Program
Eskild T. Arntzen, Dr. Robert F. Kubichek, Dr. Donald S. Warder University of Wyoming
I. Introduction There are many reasons why colleges and universities use graduate students to instruct their classes. In the current economic situation, many schools are faced with budgetary shortfalls and declining research funding. In order to avoid cutting back programs or eliminating programs, it is tempting to use graduate assistants to teach classes when regular faculty are not available. Unless done properly, this could result in ineffective teaching of our undergraduate student - with far reaching consequences. Additionally, it could be unpleasant enough for the graduate student so as to convince them that a teaching career is not in their best interest. In either circumstance, the graduate student will have missed a growth opportunity.
At the University of Wyoming, graduate students may enter into a program specifically designed to prepare them for college or university teaching careers. The Program in College Teaching (PCT), first initiated in 1994, introduces participants to the latest thinking in the teaching of the specific subject area. The ability to teach effectively is paramount at all universities today, even research institutions. It is no longer safe to assume that an individual well versed in his or her discipline and having excelled in the research process to earn the Ph.D. will also have developed and/or learned how to teach effectively. Preparation to teach the subject is now just as important as knowing what to teach.
Earlier programs such as this existed, and where the basis for developing the program in college teaching at Wyoming. We paid specific attention to who our students are, and where they are most likely to find future teaching opportunities in designing the specific components of the program. The program involves participants in five broad ranging but specific activities. They are broad ranging in that each student designs his or her program requirements around specific tasks that will best meet personally perceived needs. The program advisory board then negotiates the final requirements for the student’s activities. The five required components are: 1) A teaching seminar, 2) Investigation of current teaching practices, 3) a mentored teaching agreement, 4) A reinvestment activity and 5) developing a teaching portfolio.
The mentored teaching agreement is an agreement between the graduate student and a faculty member where the faculty member agrees to supervise and guide the graduate student during his/her classroom teaching experience. The teaching portfolio includes a collection of teaching materials representative of the graduate student’s abilities. The purpose of this collection is to document teaching experience, strengths and achievements. The documents could include sample tests, sample homework, sample lectures, student evaluations and so forth. The reinvestment involves sharing in some reasonably formal context some aspect of the knowledge and experiences gained through the teaching with a larger audience on this campus.
Kubichek, R. F., & Arntzen, E. T., & Warder, D. S. (1997, June), A Graduate Student's Views Of A Mentored Teaching Program Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6592
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