The Handbook for Economics Teaching Assistants

1.1 Types of Class Teaching

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Classes can take a number of forms. In quantitative courses, the class will usually be used to work through problem sets that have been disseminated to students in advance. In qualitative classes the time may be spent discussing key questions, critiquing journal articles and or clarifying and enhancing concepts introduced in the lecture. A few GTAs will support "workshops" rather than classes. In these you may spend much of the time giving students oneto- one or small group support in a context where there might be quite a large group working at computers, or on particular small group assignments.

Whatever the precise context, class time needs to be distinctive from lectures, and should be time in which students are encouraged to develop their own thinking on a subject together with their abilities to present and discuss their ideas. Whatever the particular function of your class, you will want your students to be actively engaged and to participate. The guidelines below are intended to help you accomplish this goal. It is also necessary that you discuss the approach you intend to take with the teacher responsible for the course, and desirable that you also take time to discuss your classes with other graduate teaching assistants.