Early Teaching Experiences
Valerie K. Otero
This presentation describes the Learning Assistants program at the University of Colorado. The LA program has been used both to improve undergraduate courses by increasing student engagement and to increase the numbers of potential new science teachers. It is a collaboration of several different STEM departments and Education.
the American Physical Society
This article explains how the Learning Assistant (undergraduate TAs) model at the physics department of the University of Colorado facilitates course transformation and serves to recruit future physics teachers. The effect of the Learning Assistant experience on their content knowledge is described, along with their interest in the learning processes of the students in their classes.
This article describes the Learning Assistant Program at the University of Arkansas. This program has been a key part to the dramatic improvement of the recruitment of science teachers at that institution.
Marcia Fetters and
This presentation describes the importance of providing future teachers with early experiences in a school. The challenges these students will face and the information they should gather and understand are outlined. Examples of early teaching experiences for these future teachers are also given.
the Physics Teacher Education Coalition
Learning Assistants are talented undergraduates who work with faculty members to make large-enrollment courses more collaborative, student-centered, and interactive. Learning Assistant programs provide potential future teachers with strongly supported and low-stress early teaching experiences that can encourage them to pursue teaching certification. In many cases, these potential teachers can be unsuspecting students who do not know they have an interest in teaching until they try it. Thus, a Learning Assistant program broadens the pool of students from which you can recruit future physics teachers. In fact, research has shown that Learning Assistant programs improve undergraduate performance in physics courses, facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration among faculty, involve more faculty in teacher preparation efforts, and recruit talented science majors to teaching careers. Learning Assistants also enhance their content knowledge through the process of teaching course material.
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