Talk:Teaching assistant

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TA vs. TF/GSI[edit]

This article states that TAs are also known as TFs and GSIs at some universities. However, it is my understanding that TAs, as the name implies, assist with teaching whereas TFs and GSIs serve as the primary instructor for a course--that is, they actually teach the course. I believe that it is necessary to clarify this difference in the article and create another article on TFs/GSIs. (LMBM2012 (talk) 22:56, 30 December 2008 (UTC))

This probably varies from institution to institution and perhaps over time. During the early 1970s I was a TA in the anthropology department at my school: I assisted the professor in a large lecture class, and held weekly "quiz sections" for small groups from this class. My only training was the instruction to "answer whatever questions they have". I soon learned this didn't work and began to use the quiz section to repeat and review the weeks lectures. I also gave weekly quizzes and graded tests. Meanwhile, my buddy was a TA in the English department and he actually taught English 101. I don't know what if any training he was provides and I assume he was given some sort of course outline or curriculum, but other than that he was totally responsible for the class. Graduate assistants were those who did not have any teaching duties at all; rather they assisted with research.Wschart (talk) 16:32, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Separate page for TF/GSI[edit]

I am thinking of creating a separate page for TFs and GSIs since they are different than TAs. Let me know if anyone has any objections. (LMBM2012 (talk) 18:18, 31 December 2008 (UTC))

unverified (and obviously false) claims, advertising?[edit]

A couple of comments on this page strike me as totally off:

1. "Most four-year colleges in the United States have GTA's teach undergraduate classes while the actual full-time professor for those classes only grade course work such as final exams and term papers while they focus their teaching duties on the graduate students themselves."

-This is simply false, as I'm sure anyone who has been to a four year college in the US can attest to. In fact, the allocation of responsibilities is typically precisely the opposite: full time professors teach classes, the graduate students grade papers and exams. Its also obviously untrue for the simple fact that most four year colleges do not have large graduate student populations (research universities that do are of course the most famous but these are not the most common).

2. The article makes this claim:

"Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio--one of the few traditional four-year colleges that have professors teach courses hands-on with undergraduate students[4]--argues that schools that have graduate assistants teach to undergraduate students instead of full-time professors themselves doesn't promote student success like having a full-time professor would do"

This seemed originally to me as though it was more or less just a way of advertising an obscure university that has no special baring on the article. What is worse though is that the claim isn't just irrelevant, its false; if you follow the citation provided:

You will see that the report doesn't say that at all. This is what it says:

"For the second consecutive year, the percentage of first-year student credit hours taught by full professors at YSU (as opposed to associate or assistant professors, instructors, or graduate students) is the highest in the state, exceeding the percentages at branch campuses, selective-admissions 4-year institutions, and all other open-admissions institutions in Ohio. At YSU,

• 30% of first-year student credit hours are taught by full professors, compared to the state average of 11%. • In addition, 59% of first-year student credit hours are taught by full-time faculty (as opposed to part-time faculty), compared to the state average of 51%. The figures for other northeastern Ohio universities were 53% at CSU, 40% at KSU, and 45% at Akron.

Among university main campuses, Miami University, with selective admissions, has the second-highest percentage of first-year student credit hours taught by full professors: 21%.

Why does the percentage of first-year courses taught by senior faculty matter? According to the Performance Report, “having faculty members with academic rank teaching first-year students” is one “measure of a college’s or university’s commitment to helping first-year students succeed with attention and instruction from faculty members who are the most experienced and the most knowledgeable about their disciplines” (p. 07-1)."

Whomever edited this article clearly misunderstood the report. An assistant professor is a tenure track full time faculty member, an associate professor is a tenured full time faculty member, (unless they're designated as 'visiting')the term 'full professor' refers not to 'full time professors' but professors of a senior academic rank who have been teaching for more than a decade after finishing their graduate work at least in most cases. The distinction between 'full time faculty' and 'part time faculty' is also not between graduate teaching assistants and professors with phds, but between faculty and adjunct faculty both groups having doctorates. Graduate students are not counted as faculty at all, part time faculty are people who finished their graduate degrees but have not obtained full time positions (and are often paid by course).

N0thingbetter (talk) 16:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


I hardly recognise this description, since I live in the UK! Any able to remove the North American bias? --Jubilee♫clipman 03:47, 23 October 2009 (UTC) I agree. There is a need to have a separate article for the UK. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 20 October 2012 (UTC)