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Graduate Teaching Assistant Peer Mentors as Agents of Institutional Transformation

Graduate Teaching Assistant Peer Mentors as Agents of Institutional Transformation

Poster Session from "Weaving Patterns of Practice," 2008 POD Network/NCSPOD Conference. The Carnegie Foundation's recent study of PhD programs reports that major outcome is the pervasive importance of "intellectual community." While we know that teaching is important, the questions of who can more effectively integrate it into the PhD, and how, remain. Based on assessment data from a program employing graduate students as department-based peer mentors on teaching, our data (surveys, interviews, and reports from faculty, administrators, and graduate students) suggest that peer mentors capitalize on their positions as marginal authorities within departments to facilitate improvements in Carnegie's measures of strong intellectual community (e.g., meaningful faculty-GTA interaction, departmental teaching culture).

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