aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 77

July 13–17, 2013
Tuesday morning
At Florida International University we have implemented a learning as-
sistant (LA) program based on the Colorado Learning Assistant Model
(Otero, Pollock, Finkelstein, 2010), designed to help prospective and
preservice science and mathematics teachers to develop pedagogical con-
tent knowledge, develop as reflective practitioners, and gain experience in
teaching early in their academic careers. As a part of the program, LAs are
helped to develop reflective practice. We believe that reflective practice is a
kind of deliberate practice that helps novice teachers to hone their teaching
skills as they strive toward expertise in teaching. To better understand the
needs of our LAs in this development, we interviewed a number of them to
better understand their perspectives in regard to teaching, reflection, and
expertise. Analysis of these interviews revealed LAs’ perspectives on the
value and purpose of the LA program. LA viewpoints in this regard will be
*Research funded by NSF grant # 0802184
8-8:10 a.m. Training Student-Centered Teachers: TAs
Help TAs Adopt Researched Pedagogy
Contributed – Anneke Timan, Queen’s University, 99 University Ave., Kings-
ton, ON K0H2T0, Canada;
James Fraser, Queen’s University
Teaching assistants (TAs) are both the present and the future of sustainable
quality physics education. However, prior research has raised concerns
with limited TA training and/or training that attempts to “fix” TAs without
giving sufficient respect to their prior beliefs and teaching experiences.
In our study of four first-year physics courses, we applied a community-
centered model to TA professional development. During weekly course-
specific tutorial preparation meetings, we encouraged TAs to experiment
with research-based pedagogy and share their successes and failures. The
facilitator of these weekly preparation sessions attended some tutori-
als to provide feedback and promote teaching peer review. We observed
interconnected influences from perceptions of professors’ commitment to
teaching, TAs’ and peers’ teaching experiences, and department teaching
culture on fostering or discouraging TA buy-in to researched pedagogy.
Respectful TA professional development that builds physics teaching
communities shows promise for increasing adoption of active learning
pedagogy in physics education.
8:10-8:20 a.m. Improving the Role of Teaching
Contributed – Chu Dang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Rm224, Sci-
ence Center, North Block, CUHK Hong Kong, HK 999077 Hong Kong, China;
Teaching assistants play a very important role in teaching university phys-
ics. They not only help grading assignments, but also conduct exercise
classes, tutorials, and even some lectures. Research seldom has focused on
how to improve TA’s role. As a teaching assistant myself, I have encoun-
tered difficulties and challenges when helping students understand physics
concepts. My investigation is on how to best assist teacher and students
and what kind of bridge should the TA build between teacher and students.
8:20-8:30 a.m. Exploring Pedagogical Content Knowl-
edge of Physics Instructors and Teaching Assistants
Using Force Concept Inventory*
Contributed – Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh, Department of
Physics, Pittsburgh, PA 15213;
Alexandru Maries, University of Pittsburgh
The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has been widely used to assess student
understanding of introductory mechanics concepts by a variety of educa-
tors and physics education researchers. One reason for this extensive use
is that many of the items on the FCI have strong distractor choices that
correspond to students’ alternate conceptions in mechanics. Instruction is
unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know the common alternate
conceptions of introductory physics students and explicitly take into
account students’ initial knowledge state in their instructional design.
We used the FCI to evaluate the pedagogical content knowledge of both
instructors and Teaching Assistants (TAs) of varying teaching experience.
For each item on the FCI, the instructors and TAs were asked to identify
which incorrect answer choice they believed would be most commonly
selected by introductory physics students. We used the FCI pretest and
post-test data from a large population (~900) of introductory physics
students to assess the pedagogical content knowledge of these educators.
We will present these results.
*Work supported by the National Science Foundation.
8:30-8:40 a.m. Examining and Connecting Physics
Teaching Assistants’ Beliefs and Practices
Contributed – Benjamin T. Spike, University of Colorado, Boulder, Depart-
ment of Physics, UCB 390, Boulder, CO 80309-0390;
Noah D. Finkelstein, University of Colorado, Boulder
Physics Teaching Assistants (TAs) play an important role in supporting
transformed learning environments, often by engaging students in ways
that may differ from their own experience as learners. Through their par-
ticipation in these environments, TAs are developing beliefs about not only
what it means to teach, but also how to put it into practice. In this talk we
present a validated and refined framework for connecting TAs’ stated be-
liefs about teaching to their enacted instructional practices, and apply this
framework to sample interview and classroom video data. We conclude
with a discussion of how this framework may be used to examine variation
in beliefs and practices, track the development of beliefs over time, and
inform TA preparation.
8:40-8:50 a.m. Institutionalizing Doctoral Students’
Contributed – Raluca Teodorescu, The George Washington University, 725
21st St., NW, Washington, DC 20052;
Elisabeth Rice, Michelle Allendoerfer, Hartmut Doebel, Patricia Dinneen, The
George Washington University
The George Washington University, a major research university, is also
strongly committed to outstanding teaching. An important part of the
teaching commitment refers to training doctoral students to become future
faculty. This training seeks to expose these students to active learning tech-
niques. We will present how the university and the Department of Physics
initiatives led to an approach to train the students, including: a) a manda-
tory online graduate teaching assistant certification course, b) a manda-
tory in-class training program within the department, and c) an optional
in-class future faculty training program. We will discuss our framework
and our multi-dimensional assessment that features graded papers, graded
classroom observations, interviews with outstanding teachers, surveys,
and instructors’ and students’ evaluations. This project is sponsored in part
by the GW Teaching and Learning Collaborative and the GW Office of
Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships.
I...,67,68,69,70,71,72,73,74,75,76 78,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,86,87,...150
Powered by FlippingBook