Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

A Pilot Study of Supporting GTA Professional Development and Educator Identity in Engineering

Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2024, pp. 25-45
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 312 DOWNLOADS: 360 Publication date: 13 Apr 2024
ABSTRACT
Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) significantly contribute to the learning and experiences of undergraduate students. Thus, supporting and enhancing GTA pedagogical knowledge and competencies can improve the learning experiences of undergraduates. Towards this goal, a discipline-specific pedagogical professional development program was created for GTAs in the Faculty of Engineering at a Canadian university. This case study explores the perspectives of participating GTAs, including how they engaged in learning about teaching, what they learned, their emerging educator identity formation, and the challenges they faced during the program. Situated learning theory informed the analysis of participant interviews and focus groups. Findings indicate that GTAs appreciated the situated and embedded nature of the program, reporting limited prior familiarity with pedagogical tools and practices and their application. Results also highlight the need to align GTA roles and responsibilities, providing opportunities to put their learning into practice with the pedagogical knowledge they developed in the program.
KEYWORDS
Teaching assistants, professional development, educator identity formation, community of practice, engineering education, situated learning.
CITATION (APA)
Akcayir, G., McFeetors, J., Kim, M., Rose, K., Jamieson, M., Basaraba, K., Jin, Q., & Buchanan, D. (2024). A Pilot Study of Supporting GTA Professional Development and Educator Identity in Engineering. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 7(2), 25-45. https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.722
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