Teaching Innovation Projects

Article Title

Teaching with Confidence


It is not uncommon for university instructors and teaching assistants to find themselves outside their “comfort zones”. They may be required to teach and explain concepts that are outside their area of expertise or that they have never had to articulate to beginners before (Huston, 2009). This may especially be the case for graduate students, who must transition from the role of “learner” to the role of “expert”, as they are required to act as teaching assistants, and, in some cases, course instructors. In this session, participants will explore the underlying psychology of confidence, including phenomena such as the spotlight effect, impostor phenomenon, and stereotype threat. Based on these phenomena, they will consider strategies to boost their confidence, both inside and outside of the classroom. Participants will consider these strategies in specific contexts where they experience low and high confidence. The goal of the session is to make participants aware of pervasive psychological biases that result in low confidence and to have them identify ways of overcoming some of these biases. Ultimately, being more confident in the classroom should result in the graduate student instructor feeling more comfortable and in undergraduate students having more confidence in their learning.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.