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PERC 2010 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Are Learning Assistants Better Secondary Science Teachers?
Abstract: This study investigates how the Learning Assistant (LA) experience affects teachers' first year of teaching. The LA Program provides interested science majors with the opportunity to explore teaching through weekly teaching responsibilities, an introduction to physics education research, and a learning community within the university environment. Some of these LAs are recruited to secondary science teacher certification programs. We hypothesized that the LA experience would enhance the teaching practices for the LAs who ultimately become teachers. To test this hypothesis, LAs were compared to a matched sample of teachers who completed the same teacher preparation program as the LAs but did not have the LA "treatment." LAs and "non-LAs" were compared through interviews, classroom observations, artifact packages, and observations made with Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol (RTOP) collected within the first year of teaching. Some differences were found, I will discuss these findings and their implications.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Kara E. Gray
School of Education University of Colorado – Boulder
249 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: 303-718-4544
and Co-Presenter(s)
Valerie K. Otero
School of Education University of Colorado – Boulder