Becoming partners: Faculty come to appreciate undergraduates as teaching partners in a service-learning teaching assistant program
Keywords:partnership development, undergraduate teaching assistants, service-learning, students as co-teachers, students as colleagues
This study examined the relationships between faculty and their teaching assistants in an undergraduate teaching assistant program developed at Northeastern University in the US to ease the challenges faculty faced in incorporating Service-Learning into their teaching. Feedback from faculty suggested that the undergraduates trained to assist them with purely logistical tasks were becoming partners in teaching. To explore the relationship between faculty and their teaching assistants and better understand how the faculty may have come to view the teaching assistants as partners, we conducted in-depth interviews with faculty across a range of academic disciplines and experience levels who had worked with one or more undergraduate teaching assistants. The data revealed that while the faculty participants did appreciate receiving logistical assistance with Service-Learning, they also benefited from partnering with students as colleagues who supported their teaching more broadly. We also found that faculty viewed the partnership in different ways depending on their level of experience with Service-Learning pedagogy.
Bass, R. (2012). Disrupting ourselves: The problem of learning in higher education. Educause Review, 47(2), 1-14. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/3/disrupting-ourselves-the-problem-of-learning-in-higher-education
Baxley, E. G., Probst, J. C., Schell, B. J., Bogdewic, S. P., & Cleghorn, G. D. (1999). Program-centered education: A new model for faculty development. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 11(2), 94-99. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15328015TL110207
Bovill, C., Cook‐Sather, A., & Felten, P. (2011). Students as co‐creators of teaching approaches, course design, and curricula: Implications for academic developers. International Journal for Academic Development, 16(2), 133-145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2011.568690
Bovill, C., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Millard, L., & Moore-Cherry, N. (2016). Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: Overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student-staff partnerships. Higher Education, 71(2), 195-208. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9896-4
Bringle, R., Hatcher, J., & Games, R. (1997). Engaging and supporting faculty in service learning. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 2(1), 43-51. Retrieved from http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/article/view/287
Cook-Sather, A. (2014). Multiplying perspectives and improving practice: What can happen when undergraduate students collaborate with college faculty to explore teaching and learning. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 42(1), 31-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11251-013-9292-3
Cook-Sather, A., & Motz-Storey, D. (2016). Viewing teaching and learning from a new angle: Student consultants’ perspectives on classroom practice. College Teaching, 64(4), 168-177. https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2015.1126802
Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C., & Felten, F. (2014). Engaging students as partners in learning and teaching: A guide for faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Curran, R. (2017). Students as Partners—good for students, good for staff: A study on the impact of partnership working and how this translates to improved student-staff engagement. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(2), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i2.3089
Dancy, M., Henderson, C., & Turpen. C. (2016). How faculty learn about and implement research-based instructional strategies: The case of peer instruction. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010110
DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. (2014). Using learning principles as a theoretical framework for instructional consultations. International Journal for Academic Development, 19(4), 281-292. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2013.837826
Dotolo, L. G. (1999). Faculty development: working together to improve teaching and learning. New Directions for Higher Education, 1999(106), 51-57. https://doi.org/10.1002/he.10606
Eby, K. K., & Gilbert, P. R. (2000). Implementing new pedagogical models: Using undergraduate teaching assistants in a violence and gender learning community. Innovative Higher Education, 25(2), 127-142. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007576923195
Fingerson, L., & Culley, A. (2001). Collaborators in teaching and learning: Undergraduate teaching assistants in the classroom. Teaching Sociology, 29(3), 299-315. https://doi.org/10.2307/1319189
Healey, M., Flint, A., & Harrington, K. (2014). Engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York, UK: Higher Education Academy. Retrieved from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/engagement-through-partnership-students-partners-learning-and-teaching-higher-education
Koslowski, F. (2006, April). Overcoming faculty resistance to assessment. Paper presented at the Undergraduate Assessment Symposium, North Carolina State University. Retrieved from
Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges & Universities.
Kuh, G., Donnell, K., & Schneider, C. G. (2017). HIPs at ten. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 49(5), 8-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2017.1366805
Lazerson, M., Wagener, U., & Shumanis, N. (2000). What makes a revolution? Change, The Magazine of Higher Learning 32(3), 12-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091380009601731
Matthews, K. E. (2016). Students as partners as the future of student engagement. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 1(1), 1-5. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/380/338
Mercer-Mapstone, L., Dvorakova, S. L., Matthews, K. E., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P., Knorr, K., Marquis, E.,
Shammas, R., & Swaim, K. (2017). A systematic literature review of students as partners. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i1.3119
Moustakas, C. E. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Owen, J. E. (2011). Peer educators in classroom settings: Effective academic partners. New Directions for Student Services, 2011(133), 55-64. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.384
Young, C. A., Shinnar, R. S., Ackerman, R. L., Carruthers, C. P., & Young, D. A. (2007). Implementing and sustaining service-learning at the institutional level. Journal of Experiential Education, 29(3), 344-365. https://doi.org/10.1177/105382590702900306
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process - this applies to the submitted, accepted, and published versions of the manuscript. This can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access).