A study of graduate teaching assistants' self-efficacy in teaching : Fits and starts in the first triennium of teaching

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  • Pit Ho Patrio Chiu
  • Paul Corrigan


Original languageEnglish
Article number1579964
Journal / PublicationCogent Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019



Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) pre-service training programs proliferated in the past two decades as universities realized the importance of training GTAs to provide high quality teaching. It was assumed that GTAs were prepared to take on face-to-face teaching duties after completing their pre-service training. However, there has been little work on continuous monitoring of GTAs' demonstrated psychometric properties and behaviors once they have begun to teach. The purpose of this work was to study GTAs' self-efficacy in teaching in the first three years of their teaching careers and monitor any change in their perceptions of teaching at several critical junctures. A quasi-experimental study with pretest and posttest, followed by a cross-sectional study of three cohorts of postgraduate students was conducted. A total of 323 responses were received and a complete self-efficacy profile of GTAs in their first triennium of teaching was constructed. It was found that GTAs experienced a fluctuation of self-efficacy in teaching. They gained self-efficacy during the training period, but it declined once they were in-service teachers in their second year of postgraduate studies. Analysis showed that GTAs were able to regain self-efficacy in their third year of teaching. This study revealed for the first time a compelling, four-phase phenomenon of GTA development and identified GTAs' lowest self-efficacy period. It is also suggested that a formal mentoring scheme be added after the completion of the pre-service GTAs training course to provide continuous support to GTAs and to help them to regain self-efficacy in teaching.

Research Area(s)

  • graduate teaching assistant, reality shock, self-efficacy, TRANSITION SHOCK, TEACHERS, PROGRAM, FACULTY

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