Session X4: Programs to Prepare Teaching Assistants to Teach

1:30 PM–3:18 PM, Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront (formerly Adam's Mark Hotel), Room: Promenade B

Sponsoring Units: FEd FGSA
Chair: Peter Shaffer, University of Washington

Abstract ID: BAPS.2008.APR.X4.1

Abstract: X4.00001 : Preparing Undergrads to Teach (Well): The Colorado Learning Assistant Model

1:30 PM–2:06 PM

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  Steven Pollock
    (University of Colorado, Boulder)

We report here on efforts at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to implement and investigate a model program with undergraduate Learning Assistants [1], a program designed to facilitate educational reforms while also recruiting and supporting future K-12 teachers. We use the LA program to support the implementation of innovations developed by the Physics Education Research community [2,3], and we document sustained learning gains from multiple instructors that exceed twice the national average for traditional courses, as well as the promotion of expert-like beliefs about the nature of physics and learning physics[4]. A central theme of our studies is to measure and understand the impact of these reforms on three populations - faculty, students in the class, and of course the Learning Assistants themselves. \newline [1] V. Otero et al., Science 28 (2006) 445-446. \newline [2] E. Redish, ``Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite,'' Wiley 2003 \newline [3] L. McDermott, P. Shaffer and the PEG, ``Tutorials in Introductory Physics,'' Prentice Hall 2002 \newline [4] S. Pollock, N. Finkelstein, Phys. Rev. ST PER 1 (2005) 010101

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