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Educación química

Print version ISSN 0187-893X


SANDI-URENA, Santiago  and  GATLIN, Todd A.. Experimental Chemistry Teaching: Understanding Teaching Assistants' Experience in the Academic Laboratory. Educ. quím [online]. 2012, vol.23, suppl.1, pp.141-148. ISSN 0187-893X.

Research in chemistry laboratory instruction has rarely focused on the lived experience of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and how it influences the pedagogic value of laboratory work. A phenomenological study was undertaken to explore the meaning that eleven GTAs ascribed to their teaching experience. Phenomenological reduction and analysis of interviews produced three core dimensions that describe GTAs' experience: Doing, Knowing, and Transferring. The perceived GTA role emerged as the interconnecting factor among them. In this study, findings suggest that GTAs viewed themselves as providers of knowledge and managers of time and safety and that GTA self-image shaped their instructional decisions about the learning environment. The gains accessible to these GTAs (content mastery, communication skills, and personal satisfaction) are not exclusive to laboratory teaching. Gains related to the development of more sophisticated views of knowledge and science were not evident. Implications for laboratory reform and GTA training are highlighted.

Keywords : Chemistry laboratory instruction; graduate students; teaching assistants; phenomenology.

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