Towards the Establishment of a Meaningful Laboratory Learning Environment through the Psychological Empowerment of Laboratory Demonstrators as Graduate Teaching Assistants
Science Education research has struggled to evidence advancements in students’ conceptual understanding of chemistry following their participation in practical laboratory sessions. In order to address this, many innovative pedagogical instructional methods and tools have been developed and evaluated accordingly. However, very little research has focused on how Laboratory Demonstrators could facilitate the development of students’ conceptual understanding. This research involved the development and evaluation of the “Teaching as a Chemistry Laboratory Graduate Teaching Assistant (TCL-GTA)” programme with seven Laboratory Demonstrators at the University of Limerick in the Spring Semester 2016. This programme did not focus on the enhancement of the participants’ pedagogical teaching skills. Instead, it prized their sense of psychological empowerment as a means of developing their teaching capabilities. The verbal interactions between Laboratory Demonstrators and undergraduate students in the laboratory were recorded and transcribed before, during and after the programme. This talk will disseminate the analysis of these transcriptions which evidences how the Laboratory Demonstrators involved in the TCL-GTA programme (i) developed students’ conceptual understanding of chemistry and (ii) contributed to the establishment of a meaningful laboratory learning environment.
A PhD researcher based at the EPI-STEM National Centre for STEM Education, University of Limerick, Aishling graduated from the University of Limerick in 2014 with First Class Honors from the Bachelor of Science with Education degree programme. Her research interests are focused on (i) developing the pedagogical skills of chemistry teachers and (ii) enhancing students’ learning experiences and outcomes in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. Aishling is currently involved in a research collaboration with Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in an effort to enhance the teaching skills of various Laboratory Demonstrator cohorts affiliated with the institution.
DATE: Thursday, 24 November 2016
VENUE: MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension
TEA/COFFEE WILL BE AVAILABLE AT 14h45
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