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Faculty Mentoring A Unique Approach To Training Graduate Students How To Teach

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.214.1 - 1.214.9



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Paper Authors

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Julie M. Grandzielwski

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Juli L. Sherwood

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James N. Petersen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2655

Faculty Mentoring A Unique Approach to Training Graduate Students How to Teach

Juli L. Sherwood, James N. Petersen, Julie M. Grandzielwski Washington State University, Department of Chemical Engineering


This paper contains a summary of the motivations and observations of a recent faculty mentoring project designed to provide a graduate student with practical teaching experience. The motivation for the project, the approach taken, and the results of the project are described from the perspective of the faculty mentor, the student trainee, and the student being taught in the class.


Only the rare individual is born to teach, being somehow naturally equipped with the ability to effectively communicate new ideas and spark imaginations that marks the best instructors. For the rest of us, learning to be a good teacher can be an awkward, sometimes frustrating, process of trial and error that is oftentimes unsatisfactory to both the fledgling instructor and to the students. To overcome these limitations, individuals who are preparing for careers as elementary or secondary education instructors are required to complete a program of study that includes a core of professional education and methodology courses, as well as a supervised teaching practicum, before they are considered ready to mold the minds of America’s youth. In contrast, those individuals pursuing doctoral degrees and who intend to teach at the university level are neither required, nor seldom even offered, the opportunity to take courses pertaining to their future roles as educators. How, then, are the professors of tomorrow expected to learn the skills required to become successful instructors? We propose that one approach to accomplish this process is via mentoring.

Mentoring has long been seen as a means of cultivating and encouraging new talent, and indeed the role of mentor is already assumed to a large degree by the graduate student’s thesis advisor. However, the advisor-student relationship often focuses almost exclusively on research endeavors, with little if any exploration of the student’s other potential career goals. Since those students intent on pursuing careers in academia will be expected to instruct as well as develop meaningful research programs, faculty advisors should be involved in nurturing the teaching potential in their graduate students as much as they are involved in nurturing their students’ research potential.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Grandzielwski, J. M., & Sherwood, J. L., & Petersen, J. N. (1996, June), Faculty Mentoring A Unique Approach To Training Graduate Students How To Teach Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6054

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