Session S48 (Tuesday, 9:30am, Wartik 107)

P446: Epistemological development of chemistry graduate teaching assistants

Todd Gatlin, Santiago Sandi-Urena (University of South Florida, USA)

Prior research suggests facilitating a cooperative problem-based laboratory environment may promote graduate teaching assistants’ (GTAs) metacognitive and epistemological development. However, supporting longitudinal evidence to identify changes in GTAs’ beliefs and behaviors was not collected. To address this need, a multiple case study design was employed to determine how GTAs’ experiences facilitating a cooperative problem-based laboratory environment affect their epistemological development. Semi-structured interviews and survey responses were collected before and after GTAs’ first semester of teaching. Data from the interviews and surveys were analyzed to generate individual case reports. Selective coding of the interviews focused on multiple components of GTAs’ epistemological reflection: views of the role of learners, peers, instructors and evaluation in the laboratory setting; the nature of knowledge; and the nature of laboratory work. Findings from individual cases and the cross-case analysis will be presented along with implications for laboratory reform and TA training.


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