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ERIC Number: EJ1166654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
We Don't Get Any Training: The Impact of a Professional Development Model on Teaching Practices of Chemistry and Biology Graduate Teaching Assistants
Mutambuki, Jacinta M.; Schwartz, Renee
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v19 n1 p106-121 Jan 2018
This study investigated the implementation of best teaching practices by science graduate teaching assistants [GTAs] (3 chemists and 2 biologists) in five inquiry-based, interdisciplinary chemistry-biology experiments during a six-week professional development (PD) program, Engage PD. Additionally, we examined GTAs' experiences in implementing specific PD aspects. The PD program took place as the GTAs taught sections of biology and chemistry laboratory courses, each comprising five interdisciplinary experiments. The PD aspects included defining expected learning outcomes, subject-matter knowledge, relevance to real-world and chemistry-biology connections, and other active classroom teaching practices. Data were collected through classroom observations, reflection questionnaires, and individual interviews. Findings indicated that 57% of the PD aspects investigated were implemented in the five interdisciplinary experiments. Results also revealed GTAs' initial areas of struggle in implementing specific PD aspects. Perceived implementation difficulties were attributed to individual perceptions and beliefs, and contextual factors. Through practice, continuous feedback, and reflections, most GTAs overcame the hurdles and refined their teaching. Findings imply the need to design training PD programs that offer mentoring and support to GTAs and future faculty in implementing teaching innovations. The teaching context and reflection prompts are helpful in identifying areas of difficulties and how to improve.
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 09411713