This study was designed to be an initial step toward a better understanding of how graduate teaching assistants teach their courses and the influences that shape their teaching decisions. The purposes included gaining insights into internal models that guided their teaching and describing the influence of an induction program on these internal models. A multi-case-study approach was employed to construct individual portraits. These portraits revealed that internal models were developed primarily from past experience as athletes, students, and teachers. Teaching could best be portrayed as a “pedagogy of contentment.” That is, teaching assistants were generally satisfied with their own teaching and did not perceive a need for additional improvement. Reported satisfaction was based on their belief that they already knew the different strategies, methods, and routines for teaching their particular subject.
Jon R. Poole is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Utah, North HPER Building, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. George Graham is with the Division of Health and Physical Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, War Memorial Gym, Blacksburg, VA 24061.