Reflexive, Reciprocal, and Real: Teaching Assistant Positionality Strategies for the Classroom

As teaching assistants, graduate students often have little control over the curriculum they teach even as they are frequently the instructors directly interfacing with students the most. While most graduate students are considering how their identities and experiences will impact their research, many fail to effectively identify and communicate their positionality to undergraduate students in classroom settings. Often, this dynamic negatively impacts both undergraduate student learning outcomes and graduate instructor effectiveness, particularly when the power differentials between faculty, teaching assistants, and undergraduate students are compounded by other factors including race, gender identity, sexuality, and educational background. This workshop will offer strategies for graduate students in positioning ourselves and our teaching reflexively, taking account of the ways in which our own identities and experiences shape our teaching and learning. We will identify tools for fostering learning environments that are collaborative and transparent, and explore models that build community and engage students proactively in a reciprocal process of content exploration and reflection.

Thursday, February 21 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

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