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ERIC Number: ED360656
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-15
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Keeping the Faith: Teaching Assistants and the Pursuit of Teaching Excellence.
Rowley, Edwin N.
The reason for the huge surge in classes taught by graduate students is financial: their services are cheaper than those of "regularly qualified instructors." Recent critics have complained that the high percentage of classes taught by graduate students is a major act of fraud by universities and has contributed greatly to educational decline. They claim the lack of experience, training, and knowledge makes graduate students much less capable than full time faculty. However, studies show that there is a lack of data supporting the notion that age has a negative impact on instructor credibility. In fact, teaching assistants have been found to have equal or sometimes higher ratings than full time faculty. Graduate students often exhibit the important traits of warmth, support, and involvement with students. Because communication instructors are concerned with the many students who experience speaking anxiety, teachers must be approachable and helpful, characteristics associated with teaching assistants more than with full time faculty. A valid concern with regard to teaching assistants, however, is classroom control and discipline, but studies indicate that here too graduate students are effective. Instead of branding teaching assistants as fakes or impostors, they should be recognized for their positive characteristics and thought of as novices who require closer mentoring and assistance, but who often do a very satisfactory job. (Seventeen footnotes are attached). (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A