ERIC Number: ED215359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Freshman Composition: Developing Teaching Assistant Teaching Potential.
Guinn, Dorothy Margaret
There are two crucial limitations in preparing graduate teaching assistants (TAs) for the composition classroom: the background they bring to teaching and the limited time available for training. Most TAs, although knowledgeable in literature, lack authority on the subject of composition instruction. An ideal TA would (1) have a masters degree; (2) be familiar with traditional grammatical terminology, the conventions of standard English, and linguistics; and (3) spend a semester with a "master" teacher well-trained in rhetoric and composition theory, making frequent preservice forays into composition classrooms. A university in the southwestern United States has a more pragmatic approach. A four-day pre-semester orientation acquaints TAs with organizational and administrative matters, classroom policies and procedures, overall course conduct and planning, and the evaluation and criticism of student writing. Training continues with a one-semester graduate seminar and workshop aimed specifically at developing the composition teaching potential of new TAs. They receive background information in rhetoric, linguistics, and composition theory, as well as other sources for information. They create stimulating writing assignments that enhance writing skills, then test them and discover criteria for grading the results by responding to their own and their colleagues' assignments. The department writing center also provides information and assistance for new TAs. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).