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ERIC Number: EJ1020564
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Rites of Pedagogical Passage: How Graduate Student Instructors Negotiate the Challenges of First-Time Teaching
Smollin, Leandra M.; Arluke, Arnold
Teaching Sociology, v42 n1 p28-39 Jan 2014
This study examines the dynamics of the first-time teaching experience of graduate instructors, drawing on interview and focus group data from 35 sociology students in a doctoral program at a large university in the United States. Results indicate the majority of graduate instructors felt a great deal of anxiety due to challenges they faced when teaching their own course for the first time: challenges such as feelings of unpreparedness, constant and unremitting time demands, problems with students, a lack of confidence, and insufficient support. Instructors employed a number of informal strategies in attempts to mediate the personal and professional impact of these challenges. Strategies included adjusting expectations, making sacrifices, becoming savvy, and creating informal peer networks that provided social support and increased access to resources. Findings indicate the need for institutional-level changes, including how graduate student teaching is viewed within the discipline and the ways graduate instructors are supported and prepared to teach. This article concludes with specific recommendations for graduate programs and sociology departments of sociology.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A