Autoethnographic Reflections of an International Graduate Teaching Assistant’s Co-Teaching Experiences
Keywords:autoethnography, co-teaching, higher education, international graduate teaching assistants, professional development, sociocultural theory
This authoethnographic study explores the co-teaching experiences of an international graduate teaching assistant (IGTA) assigned to co-teach an undergraduate course at a U.S. publicly funded university. As a sociocultural theoretical framework, Dewey (1938), Vygotsky (1978), and Schön’s (1983) works regarding experiential learning, interaction, and reflective practice were used to analyze narratives and highlight the IGTA’s co-teaching experiences to provide evidence of reflective and collaborative practices. Five themes emerged from the study: a need for professional development, interdependence, mentoring, improving interpersonal skills, and shifting perspectives. The findings uncovered how the co-teaching experience cultivated and sustained an IGTA’s personal awareness of self and others through guided reflection on instructional practices to improve teaching and learning.
Bacharach, N., Heck, T. W., & Dahlberg, K. (2008). Co-teaching in higher education. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 5(3), 9–16.
Blouin, D. D., & Moss, A. R. (2015). Graduate student teacher training: Still relevant (and missing?) 20 years later. Teaching Sociology, 43(2), 126–136. doi:10.1177/0092055X14565516
Boman, J. S. (2013). Graduate student teaching development: Evaluating the effectiveness of training in relation to graduate student characteristics. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 43(1), 100–114.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Occupational employment statistics. Retrieved on September 7, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251191.htm
Cahalan, J. M. (2013). Teaching classroom videorecording analysis to graduate students: Strategies for observation and improvement. College Teaching, 61(2), 44–50.
Chadha, D. (2013). Reconceptualizing and reframing graduate teaching assistant (GTA) provision for a research-intensive institution. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(2), 205–217. doi:10.1080/13562517.2012.696537
Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Sage.
Cho, Y., Kim, M., Svinicki, M. D., & Decker, M. L. (2011). Exploring teaching concerns and characteristics of graduate teaching assistants. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(3), 267–279. doi:10.1080/13562517.2010.524920
Cook, L., & Friend, M. (1995). Co-teaching: Guidelines for creating effective practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 28(3), 1–16.
Couser, G. T. (1997). Recovering bodies: Illness, disability, and life writing. University of Wisconsin Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Sage.
Denzin, N. K. (1978). Sociological methods: A sourcebook. McGraw-Hill.
Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. Collier Books.
Duncan, M. (2004). Autoethnography: Critical appreciation of an emerging art. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3(4), Article 3.
Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. AltaMira.
Finch, J., & Kim, S. K. (2012). Kirŏgi families in the US: Transnational migration and education. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38(3), 485–506.
Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2007). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (5th ed.). Pearson Education.
Gentry, R. (2012). Collaboration skills pre-service teachers acquire in a responsive preparation program. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 8, 1–9.
Goodall, H. L. (2000). Writing the new ethnography. AltaMira.
Graziano, K. J., & Navarrete, L. A. (2012). Co-teaching in a teacher education classroom: Collaboration, compromise, and creativity. Issues in Teacher Education, 12(1), 109–126.
Gunter, M. A., Estes, T. H., & Mintz, S. L. (2007). Instruction: A models approach (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.
Harris, C., & Harvey, A. N. C. (2000). Team teaching in adult higher education classrooms: Toward a collaborative knowledge construction. In New directions for adult and continuing education (pp. 25–32). Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Henderson, C., Beach, A., & Famiano, M. (2009). Promoting instructional change via co-teaching. American Journal of Physics, 77(3), 274–283.
Hoessler, C., & Godden, L. (2015). The visioning of policy and the hope of implementation: Support for graduate students’ teaching at a Canadian institution. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(1), 83–101.
Institute of International Education. (2017). International student enrollment trends, 1948/49-2016/17. Open doors report on international educational exchange. Retrieved on January 24, 2018 from http://www.iie.org/opendoors
Kenny, N., Watson, G. P. L., & Watton, C. (2014). Exploring the context of Canadian graduate student teaching certificates in university teaching. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 44(3), 1–19.
Kim, E. J. (2012). Providing a sounding board for second language writers. TESOL Journal, 3(1), 33–47.
Lechuga, V. M. (2011). Faculty-graduate student mentoring relationships: Mentors’ perceived roles and responsibilities. Higher Education, 62(6), 757–771.
Lee, J. J. (2010). International students’ experiences and attitudes at a US host institution: Self- reports and future recommendations. Journal of Research in International Education, 9(1), 66–84.
Maréchal, G. (2010). Autoethnography. In A. J. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research, (Vol. 2, pp. 43–45). Sage.
Marshall, A. M. (2014). Embedded professional development for teacher educators: An unintended ‘consequence’ of university co-teaching. International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development, 5(1), 17–30.
Mena, I. B., Diefes-Dux, H. A., & Capobianco, B. M. (2013). Socialization experiences resulting from doctoral engineering teaching assistantships. Journal of Higher Education, 84(2), 189–212.
Méndez, M. (2013). Autoethnography as a research method: Advantages, limitations and criticisms. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 15(2), 279–287.
Miettinen, R. (2000). The concept of experiential learning and John Dewey's theory of reflective thought and action, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 19(1), 54–72.
Nick, J. M., Delahoyde, T. M., Del Prato, D., Mitchell, C., Ortiz, J., Ottley, C., Young, P. K., Cannon, S. B., Lasater, K., Reising, D. L., & Siktberg, L. (2012). Best practices in academic mentoring: A model for excellence. Nursing Research and Practice, 2012, Article 937906. doi:10.1155/2012/937906
Parker, M. A., Ashe, D., Boersma, J., Hicks, R., & Bennett, V. (2015). Good teaching starts here: Applied learning at the graduate teaching assistant institute. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(3), 84–110.
Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Sage.
Perry, A. (2017). A brief history of co-teaching. Retrieved on February 20, 2018 from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/co-teaching-push-in/
Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. Basic Books.
Ploessl, D. M., Rock, M. L., Schoenfeld, N., & Blanks, B. (2010). On the same page: Practical techniques to enhance co-teaching interactions. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45(3), 158–168.
Richards, K. A., Velasquez, J. D., & Payne, L. B. (2012). The influence of a college teaching workshop series on teaching assistant perceptions of preparedness and self-efficacy. Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference (Session 4433). Washington, DC: ASEE.
Richards, L., & Morse, J. M. (2012). Readme first for a user’s guide to qualitative methods. Sage.
Santandreu Calonge, D., Mark, K. P., Chiu, P. H., Thadani, D. R., & Pun, C. F. (2013). Extreme-Teaching-2 (XT2): Evaluation of an innovative semester-long intensive GTA training program based on microteaching. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 25(1), 129–143.
Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner How professionals think in action. Basic Books.
Vogler, K. E., & Long, E. (2013). Team teaching two sections of the same undergraduate course: A case study. College Teaching, 51(4), 122–126.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.
Wallace, M. J. (1991). Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach. Cambridge University Press.
Waters, F. H., & Burcroff, T. L. (2007). Collaborative teaching at the university level: Practicing what is preached. The Teacher Educator, 42(4), 304–315.
Wieringa, N. (2011). Teachers’ educational design as a process of reflection-in-action: The lessons we can learn from Donald Schön’s The reflective practitioner when studying the professional practice of teachers as educational designers. Curriculum Inquiry, 41(1), 167–174. doi:10.1111/j.1467-873X.2010.00533.x
Wise, A. (2011). Supporting future faculty in developing their teaching practices: An exploration of communication networks among graduate teaching assistants. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23(2), 135–149.
How to Cite
All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.