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.
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