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ERIC Number: EJ1126249
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Characterizing Teaching Assistants' Knowledge and Beliefs Following Professional Development Activities within an Inquiry-Based General Chemistry Context
Wheeler, Lindsay B.; Maeng, Jennifer L.; Whitworth, Brooke A.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n1 p19-28 Jan 2017
The purpose of this investigation was to explore changes in undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants' (TAs') content knowledge and beliefs about teaching within the context of an inquiry-based laboratory course. TAs received professional development (PD), which was informed by the TA training literature base and was designed for TAs implementing a guided inquiry approach to general chemistry laboratory instruction. TAs engaged in ~20 h of presemester PD and ~30 h of weekly follow-up PD during the semester. The study utilized a multiple-methods approach within a social constructivist framework to assess changes in the TAs. Participants included eight graduate TAs and five undergraduate TAs. Data collection included TA pre-PD, post-PD, and semester-end surveys and two interviews of a subset of participants. The quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric statistics, and the qualitative data were analyzed using systematic data analysis. The results indicate that TAs' content knowledge significantly improved following the PD (mean = 80.22, standard deviation = 11.80) (Z = -2.346, p = 0.019) and was maintained over the semester. Following PD, the TAs shifted their beliefs to be more aligned with inquiry-based instruction. The results of this investigation suggest that TA previous experience and teaching students in an inquiry-based lab may influence TAs' beliefs. Future research will focus on examining the impact of TAs on student outcomes within a guided inquiry approach to general chemistry laboratory instruction.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
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