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Developing Effective Teaching and Mentoring Skills

Haufler, Christopher H. [1].

Shoring up the front line: Helping Graduate Teaching Assistants achieve excellence.

Especially at large public college and universities, professors are often just talking heads facing hundreds of undergraduate students who tend to invest little personal effort in learning through such large-lecture learning. It is in the laboratories associated with such courses that hands-on, small-group, experiential instruction takes place. Many to most of the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) who teach these labs are novices, and yet are expected to engage students in truly intimate, active learning of difficult material and concepts. Even the best of these GTAs struggle with this challenge. To aid these early career academic professionals, all first-time GTAs in biology at the University of Kansas are required to take a one-hour seminar in teaching effectiveness. In that seminar, GTAs learn about the nuts-and-bolts of teaching, become aware of university resources and regulations, share successes and frustrations, read about and discuss teaching, and interview award winning professors and GTAs. This seminar helps to establish a community of interactive colleagues who learn from each other and about teaching goals and opportunities. Undergraduate biology education benefits from having better-informed instructors who are more attuned to the importance of helping to provide the next generation of biology professionals with effective learning experiences.

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1 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Haworth Hall, 1200 Sunnyside Ave, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA

GTA training
Laboratory teaching.

Presentation Type: Education Forum Session:Breakout Session
Session: F 2a-1
Location: 408/Hilton
Date: Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Time: 9:30 AM
Abstract ID:516

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