Publication Date



response beliefs, teacher training, graduate teaching assistants


As recent studies have shown (Ferris, 2014; Reid, Estrem, & Belcheir, 2012), formalized types of pedagogical instruction may be less effective for new instructors than previously thought. As new instructors form beliefs about responding to student writing through their first years of teaching and training, they may continue to rely heavily on knowledge from various communities of practice (Wenger, 2000) outside of their current programs while shaping their beliefs about feedback. This study examines these informal influences on the feedback beliefs of first-year writing instructors. Specifically, this study uses both surveys and interviews with teachers in their first 2 years of teaching at a university in the United States to uncover influences on these individuals that result from informal training. The purpose of this study is to examine how personal experiences, values, or beliefs based on their own lives might affect the beliefs with which instructors respond to their students’ writing in the classroom. Findings suggest that informal training is a valuable tool to new teachers for motivating them to respond to student writing and should be taken into account in teacher training.



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