Employing graduate students as teaching assistants (GTAs) is a common practice in universities across the United States. Using undergraduate students as teaching assistants/apprentices (UTAs), however, is not only less common but also often sparks debate among various stakeholder groups (e.g., teachers, administrators, community members). Moreover, relatively little empirical research has been published to support arguments on either side of the issue. The present study extends research by providing evidence to support the educational value of employing UTAs as teaching apprentices. More specifically, researchers conducted a grounded theory qualitative analysis of free-write essay responses collected from 33 UTAs throughout the course of their first semester serving as teaching apprentices. Three learning outcome themes emerged from the analysis: teaching as challenging, teaching as rewarding, and teaching as transformational. Conclusions support the educational value of UTAs as a transformative learning experience.

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Reynolds, M., Sellnow, D., Head, K., & Anthony. K. E. (2014). Exploring the educational value of the undergraduate teaching apprentice (UTA) experience. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 33(1), 17-34.