From Rough Waters to Calm Seas: The Challenges and Successes of Building a Graduate Teaching Assistant Professional Development Program

Mary E. Pilgrim, Naneh Apkarian, Hayley Milbourne, Michael O’Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

San Diego State University recently embarked on a major initiative to revitalize the Precalculus, Calculus 1, Calculus 2 sequence. In addition to program features such as course coordination, a new active learning component led by graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) was added to each of the Precalculus, Calculus 1, and Calculus 2 courses, and a professional development (PD) program was instituted to support GTAs. There were many challenges related to workload, contracts, communication, and GTA buy-in. Here we present the evolution of the GTA-PD program through discussion of successes, challenges, and responses to those challenges. We conclude with some of the overall lessons learned thus far, and how we are continuing to evolve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalPRIMUS
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • active learning
  • calculus
  • change
  • graduate teaching assistant
  • professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education

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