id: 06047900
dt: a
an: 2012d.00124
au: Kung, David T.
ti: Teaching assistants learning how students think.
so: Hitt, Fernando (ed.) et al., Research in collegiate mathematics education.
VII. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society (AMS); Washington,
DC: Mathematical Association of America (MAA) (ISBN
978-0-8218-4996-5/pbk). CBMS Issues in Mathematics Education 16,
143-169 (2010).
py: 2010
pu: Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society (AMS); Washington, DC:
Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
la: EN
cc: B55
ut: teaching assistants; pedagogical content knowledge; education; research;
university teaching
ci:
li:
ab: Summary: Teacher knowledge at the college level remains a largely an
unexplored subject, despite the importance of such knowledge to college
teaching and the preparation of future teachers at the high school and
college level. In this paper, we investigate knowledge of student
thinking in a group of current and former teaching assistants (TAs) who
have taught in the Emerging Scholars workshop model. Using data from
interviews with eight TAs at two different large public institutions,
we report on TA knowledge of student solution strategies and
difficulties, student coping skills and student conceptions in the area
of limits. When presented with a challenging problem, most participants
exhibited extensive knowledge of student stragtegies and difficulties.
They also demonstrated an awareness of the most common student
misconceptions of limits found in the literature. Several less common
misconcetptions were not mentioned by most of the TAs. We also report
on the ways the TAs described gaining this knowledge. They described
acquiring knowledge of student thinking in various ways, including
while observing students work on problems, writing problems themselves,
and grading homework. Furthermore, analysis of the interviews indicated
that these different activities produced different types of knowledge.
For instance, observing students work problems gave participants very
fine-grained details of problem solving methods but left out
studentsâ€™ final conclusions - which TAs learned about through
grading. We propose a framework for understanding TA learning about
student thinking, hypothesizing a duality between the types of
student-teacher interaction and the types of knowledge TAs have access
to. We conclude the paper by discussing implications of this work for
the professional development of teachers as well as for future research
into teacher knowledge at the college level.
rv: