Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Sherri McCarthy, Bennett Edgerly (TA) and Francisco Vasquez, Northern Arizona University, Yuma, Arizona USA


Many graduate students are required to begin teaching college courses with little or no training, experience or guidance. This “sink-or-swim” strategy is not an optimum way to develop future teachers of psychology. This participant idea exchange, facilitated by two TAs and the instructor who trained them will begin by presenting the training model for TAs utilized by the author. This training model, which spans 4 semesters, includes the following: 1) Student successfully completes the course he or she will become a TA for with the instructor; 2) Student assists another TA with the course, developing tests, grading assignments and developing web components; 3) TA works with instructor on course, on-line and in-person; 4) TA assumes full responsibility for teaching the course. When possible, seminars where TAs interact with each other and instructors while independently instructing courses are then incorporated. Pros and cons of this model, which is hard to implement within a small program, and comparisons to other training models the author is familiar with, including requiring a brief course of all TAs prior to teaching, one-on-one mentoring and other options will be summarized. Then, participants within the audience will be invited to share their own ideas and experiences with training of TAs. The audience will be led to discuss what they consider to be the optimum means of training graduate students to become future teachers of psychology. As a result of the idea exchange, participants will leave with new ideas to try at their own institutions for training TAs in psychology courses.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev