Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Graduate Teaching Assistants' Concerns and Perspectives on University Instructional Environment

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Graduate Teaching Assistants' Concerns and Perspectives on University Instructional Environment

Article excerpt

Jared A. Russell, University of Georgia

Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have become invaluable assets to the university, particularly in the areas of teaching and research. The purpose of this research was to identify the concerns of physical education graduate teaching assistants and to obtain recommendations for improving their work conditions. An interpretive theoretical perspective was used to guide the development of the survey instrument and in the analysis of the data. Qualitative data were obtained from nineteen GTAs in a basic physical education program via a survey instrument. The pool of GTAs consisted of graduate students from the departments of Physical Education and Sport Studies, Exercise Science, and Recreation and Leisure Studies. The survey utilized five open-ended questions. These questions asked the GTA to reflect on several aspects of their experience as instructors. The data were analyzed using techniques of qualitative research such as: making comparisons between written responses, open-coding, and formulating hypotheses based on the data under consideration. The analyses were performed to identify themes that revealed a better understanding of the concerns, recommendations, and memorable experiences of the GTAs in relation to their duties as instructors. Several major themes emerged from the findings. …

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