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2000 Conference: Selected Bibliography

Selected Bibliography on the topic of Graduate Student Teaching Assistantship and Professional Preparation

Other Topics

Preparing Graduate Students for Teaching Assistantships and Academic Careers

Preparing Graduate Students for Teaching Assistantships and Academic Careers

Academic Deans of Commonwealth Partnership. (1997). What you should know. Journal of College Science Teaching, 26(5), 311-312.

This article is addressed to those intending to pursue careers in higher education; it highlights the need for potential teachers committed to the advancement of learning &endash; committed to combining teaching and research. The importance of teacher/student relationships in allowing students to achieve complex goals is stressed, as well as the need for teachers able to help students develop competency in different modes of inquiry. This consortium-authored piece emphasizes the need for teachers to cross disciplinary boundaries, to become socially involved, and to develop communication skills. Academic communities are encouraged to assist these efforts by further developing respect for diversity, responsibility, and cooperation.

Atwell, R. H. (1996, November 29). Doctoral education must match the nation's needs and the realities of the marketplace. Chronicle of Higher Education, B4-B5.

This article suggests that although doctoral students at research universities are presumably groomed for faculty positions, there is a significant mismatch between the training these students receive and the jobs available for new faculty; over-reliance on the research model of doctoral education inhibits the development of young faculty prepared to teach undergraduates.

Cassuto, L. (1998, November 27). Pressures to publish fuel the professionalization of today's graduate students. Chronicle of Higher Education, B4.

The author suggests that the job market leads doctoral students to present themselves as fully formed professors equipped with clearly delineated specialties and subspecialties. This professionalization of graduate study leads students to employ homogenous professional conventions in their writing, to conform their curiosity early on to what the market will reward, and to stay in school longer to write and polish their dissertations or take postdoctoral appointments. The article claims that student professionalization has deepened the gap between "teachers" and "scholars". Educators cannot change the market for academic employment but can change the professional model that graduate students emulate. Finally it is suggested that honoring teaching in a concrete way may balance the pressure on students to become professional researchers.

Cohen, J. (Winter 1997). Learning the scholarship of teaching in doctorate-granting institutions. Journal and Mass Communication Educator. Winter, 1997, 27-28. This article discusses the scholarship of teaching at graduate level institutions and the need to analyze how graduate students are prepared for teaching.

Diamond, R. M., & Gray, P. J. (1998, January). 1997 National study of teaching assistants. Syracuse, NY: Center for Instructional Development, Syracuse University.

This study follows up on a 1987 study of the perceived needs of teaching assistants, and their perceptions of the effectiveness of their training programs. The earlier survey identified concerns among TAsregarding preparation, supervision, assignments, and the availability of time to do what was expected. The current study shows that much remains the same, underscoring perhaps the difficulty of effecting real change at a broad systemic level. Changes that were evident, however, involve increased training with technology but decreases in the perceived adequacy or guidance and supervision. This report emphasizes the need for development and maintenance of structures that encourage and support departmental faculty and administrators in their localized efforts to improve TA training.

Golde, C., & Dore, T. (1997, November). Gaps in the training of future faculty: Doctoral student perceptions. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

This paper explores gaps in the preparation of future faculty members. 187 advanced graduate students at six institutions were surveyed on the aspects of the faculty job they had been prepared for and which areas of ethical concern had been made clear to them in their doctoral programs. Included are quantitative data tables.

Lambert, L. M., Tice, S. L. , & Featherstone, P. (Eds.). (1993). Preparing graduate students to teach: A guide to programs that improve undergraduate education and develop tomorrow's faculty. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.

This guide discusses the current state of preparing graduate students for college and university teaching. It reviews the centrality of teaching assistantships in graduate education and abstracts successful programs. Included are profiles of 44 discipline-based programs and directories with more than 360 programs.

Lewis, L. S., & Altbach, P. G. (1992). The new civil rights law and doctoral education. Academe, 78(3), 12-14.

In the view of these authors, the 1991 civil rights bill (Public Law 102-166), signed in late November by President Bush, may cause arevolution in the way that college professors are trained. One of the provisions in the law specifies that employment criteria must be job-related. The problem in academe is that the traditional Ph.D., manifestly a research degree, is not related to the jobs of most American college teachers. The post-baccalaureate education of college teachers needs to focus on the substance of the field in which the teacher is to teach.

Nyquist, J. D., & Wulff, D. H. (1996). Working Effectively with Graduate Assistants. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Preparing graduate assistants to become better teachers and researchers is one of the more demanding supervisory challenges facing academics today. This volume, written by two leading authorities in the field, has a twofold purpose: 1) providing faculty members with a better understanding of how to think and plan as a supervisor, and 2) preparing and nurturing the next generation of university teachers, scholars, and researchers. The book not only discusses the key issues, but also provides many specific tips, resources, and strategies that assist supervisors. One chapter specifically addresses the special needs of the international graduate student.

Nyquist, J. D., & Sprague, J. (1998). Thinking developmentally about TAs. In M. Marincovich, J. Prostko, & F. Stout (Eds.), The professional development of graduate teaching assistants. Boston, MA: Anker.

This article describes refinements in a developmental approach to understanding how graduate students become effective teachers. The model described proposes three stages that TAs seem to move through: senior learner, colleague-in-training, and junior colleague. Changes from stage to stage can be charted along four dimensions, revealed in their talk about their teaching concerns, their discipline, their relationships to students, and their relationship to authority. In refining their framework, the authors stress the essential role each stage plays, that TAs' development is neither linear nor smooth, that the role of affect cannot be minimized in understanding TA development, and that meaningful TA development entails development of reflectiveness.

Nyquist, J. D., Manning, L., Wulff, D. H., Austin, A. E., Sprague, J., Fraser, P. K., Calcagno, C., & Woodford, B. (1999, May/June). On the road to becoming a professor: The graduate student experience. Change, 31(3), 18-27.

This interim report summarizes results of an ongoing qualitative, multi-site research project examining how graduate students developinto faculty members. Three refrains emerge most consistently as students discuss their experiences: the tensions they experience in adapting to the values embodied in higher education, the mixed or ambiguous messages they receive about priorities in the academy, and the implicit and explicit pleas for support evident in many of the stories they tell. Few of the students exhibit a real sense of what life in the academy as a teaching scholar and faculty member is like. Participants' reports show how little has changed in terms of their preparation for the various roles that faculty members must fill. Structural issues such as universities' desperate need to generate research dollars regardless of the cost to graduate education and the growing demand for TAs to teach service courses despite departments' limited supervision and mentoring capabilities, make it difficult to effect meaningful reform.

Reis, R. M. (1997). Tomorrow's professor: Preparing for academic careers in science and engineering. New York: IEEE Press.

This publication is designed to help graduate students prepare for, find, and succeed at academic careers in science and engineering. It examines the full range of North American four-year academic institutions.

Richlin, L. (1995). Preparing the faculty of the future to teach. In W. A. Wright (Ed.), Teaching improvement practices: Successful strategies for higher education (pp. 255-282). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

This is a discussion of the lengthy history of efforts to enhance the teaching abilities of new faculty. The attempts ranged from wholesale reform, notably the Doctor of Arts degree, to the currently most widespread: the teaching assistantship. Review of these programs indicates that some methods of working with TAs are more effective than others. The discussion concludes with recommendations on how graduate education can address the adequate preparation of future faculty.

Schuster, J. H. (1993). The environment for faculty and their development as teachers. In M. Weimer (Ed.), Faculty as teachers: Taking stock of what we know. Pennsylvania State University: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

This essay argues that (despite advances in recent years) graduate schools have not yet accepted the development of teaching as a significantly high priority. Summarizing lessons learned from a decade spent studying faculty issues, the author finds that American colleges and universities generally do a poor job of enabling faculty members to play to their respective strengths and preferences, holding all of them to the same imitative expectations. It is suggested here that faculty will be more likely to prioritize teaching when the academic marketplace becomes more receptive to integrative alternatives to traditional "discovery"-oriented dissertations; additional suggestions for addressing this concern are offered.

Schuster, J. H. (1993). Preparing the next generation of faculty: The graduate school's opportunity. In L. Richlin (Ed.), Preparing faculty for the new conceptions of scholarship (pp. 27-38). New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 54. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

This chapter argues that Graduate Schools can and should strive to exert much more influence than they ordinarily do in the preparation of future professors. Forecasting a period of massive new faculty hiring, the author concludes that graduate schools must assist the academic departments in transmitting the body of knowledge and research methodologies crucial to the preparation of new professors &endash; harnessing the capacities of campuses to teach about higher education, transmitting the ethos of the academic workplace, and passing on the culture and ethics of the profession.

U. C. Berkeley. (1995, Fall). Moving toward professional-ism. The Graduate, 11(2). [On-line]. Available: http:/

Association conferences offer graduate students opportunities to begin building professional networks, to present and hear about fresh research, to reinforce their professional identities, and to broaden their research and career perspectives. This article offers nuts-and-bolts advice to graduate students concerning successful participation in their professional associations. It addresses such topics as what types of material to present, how to dress, how to mingle, and what to expect from conference job interviews.

Wilson, R. (1998, October 30). Universities scramble to find teachers of freshman composition. Chronicle of Higher Education, A12-A14.

This article notes that as English Ph.D. departments shrink while freshman classes grow to record enrollments, some universities are allowing graduate students from disciplines other than English to teach freshman composition. Some who believe good writers are found throughout the university have tended to respond positively while others fear that the practice hurts morale among English doctoral students and erodes English as a discipline. Wilson comments additionally that the debate over whether TAs should be viewed as employees or graduate students is fueled and becomes more complicated when TAs work outside their own disciplines.

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