Teaching about Teaching: Providing Pedagogical Support for Graduate Student Instructors
Being a graduate student instructor at a large research institution can be a very isolating and daunting task, especially with the lack of community structures and professional development opportunities currently available for educators to collaborate, reflect, and exchange ideas. As it stands now, UW-Madison is not fully taking advantage of the collective talent, energy, and knowledge graduate student instructors bring to their undergraduate students and the larger campus community. Offering a course and/or creating other programs to bring instructors together to share best practices would address this gap, ultimately improving learning outcomes for students and pedagogical practices of teachers. Creating this opportunity for devoted educators to collaborate will also provide opportunities for researchers at UW to explore how communities of practice impact student-teacher relationships, educational outcomes, and teaching excellence both in and outside classroom spaces.