Presentation Title

Teaching as an International TA: The Psychically Intense Play between the Self and the Other

Location

Room 2904 B

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Education & Learning - Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract

The lived experience of international teaching assistants (ITAs) in the U.S. classrooms is a topic worthy of research as there is an increasing number of ITAs with the rapidly expanding body of international students in the U.S. universities. In addition to the common difficulties experienced by any other international student who has crossed both geographical and cultural borders to study in the U.S., ITAs, because of their teaching responsibilities, may face more challenges, such as classroom management, adjustment of instructional strategies in coping with cultural barriers between their American students and them. However, there seems to be a dearth of literature on the lived experience of ITAs in universities located in smaller towns with a limited number of international students--universities like our own, Georgia Southern University. Following the line of research on ITAs, I attempt to theorize my own experience as an ITA who teaches the undergraduate course Diversity in Ed. Contextat the College of Education. Situated my self under the theoretical framework of curriculum as autobiographical text and psychoanalysis while reflecting on my interactions with my students, I argue that teaching as an international TA is an emotionally charged play between the self and the other, which contains a lot of psychically intense moments (Bollas, 1996, p. 37). I employ two main meanings of "play" in two different contexts. First, I use playin the literary context, referring to a drama. I compare my experience of teaching to a classic three-act play, and those psychically intense moments to the dramatic conflicts. I also borrow the three-act structure the beginning, middle and end in organizing the narrative of what I have encountered as an international TA. Second, I use play to refer to the type of action and the ability to do things in the psychoanalytic context, as is described in the works of Winnicott (1990; 2005) and of Bollas (1987; 1991; 1996; 1999). I aim to: (1) to offer an ITA’s perspectives on her teaching a diversity course that contains a number of controversial topics and reveal the challenges she has been faced with; (2) to provide potential suggests for universities that are committed to better serve ITAs and international students in general. This study with rich autobiographical data not only enriches the existing literature on ITAs, but also contributes to the field by presenting up-to-date firsthand information that has the potential to promote cultural awareness and to incite future empirical investigations into the life of ITAs at U.S. universities that traditionally do not have a lot of international students/teaching assistants. A Partial List of References Bollas, C. (1987). The shadow of the object: Psychoanalysis of the unthought known. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Bollas, C. (1991). Forces of destiny: Psychoanalysis and human idiom. London, the United Kingdom: Free Association Books. (Original work published 1989) Bollas, C. (1996). Cracking up: The work of unconscious experience. New York, NY: Hill and Wang. Winnicott, D. W. (1990). Home is where we start from: Essays by a psychoanalyst. C. Winnicott, R. Sherperd, & M. Davis (Eds.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1986) Winnicott, D. W. (2005). Playing and reality. New York, NY: Routledge. (Original work published 1971)cient conditions in order for the class of Gorenstein projective complexes to be special precovering in the category of complexes of R-modules Ch(R). More precisely, we prove that if every complex in Ch(R) has a special Gorenstein flat cover, every Gorenstein projective complex is Gorenstein flat, and every Gorenstein flat complex has finite Goenstein projective dimension, then the class of Gorenstein projective complexes, GP(C), is special precovering in Ch(R).

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

4-16-2016 5:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 4:00 PM Apr 16th, 5:00 PM

Teaching as an International TA: The Psychically Intense Play between the Self and the Other

Room 2904 B

The lived experience of international teaching assistants (ITAs) in the U.S. classrooms is a topic worthy of research as there is an increasing number of ITAs with the rapidly expanding body of international students in the U.S. universities. In addition to the common difficulties experienced by any other international student who has crossed both geographical and cultural borders to study in the U.S., ITAs, because of their teaching responsibilities, may face more challenges, such as classroom management, adjustment of instructional strategies in coping with cultural barriers between their American students and them. However, there seems to be a dearth of literature on the lived experience of ITAs in universities located in smaller towns with a limited number of international students--universities like our own, Georgia Southern University. Following the line of research on ITAs, I attempt to theorize my own experience as an ITA who teaches the undergraduate course Diversity in Ed. Contextat the College of Education. Situated my self under the theoretical framework of curriculum as autobiographical text and psychoanalysis while reflecting on my interactions with my students, I argue that teaching as an international TA is an emotionally charged play between the self and the other, which contains a lot of psychically intense moments (Bollas, 1996, p. 37). I employ two main meanings of "play" in two different contexts. First, I use playin the literary context, referring to a drama. I compare my experience of teaching to a classic three-act play, and those psychically intense moments to the dramatic conflicts. I also borrow the three-act structure the beginning, middle and end in organizing the narrative of what I have encountered as an international TA. Second, I use play to refer to the type of action and the ability to do things in the psychoanalytic context, as is described in the works of Winnicott (1990; 2005) and of Bollas (1987; 1991; 1996; 1999). I aim to: (1) to offer an ITA’s perspectives on her teaching a diversity course that contains a number of controversial topics and reveal the challenges she has been faced with; (2) to provide potential suggests for universities that are committed to better serve ITAs and international students in general. This study with rich autobiographical data not only enriches the existing literature on ITAs, but also contributes to the field by presenting up-to-date firsthand information that has the potential to promote cultural awareness and to incite future empirical investigations into the life of ITAs at U.S. universities that traditionally do not have a lot of international students/teaching assistants. A Partial List of References Bollas, C. (1987). The shadow of the object: Psychoanalysis of the unthought known. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Bollas, C. (1991). Forces of destiny: Psychoanalysis and human idiom. London, the United Kingdom: Free Association Books. (Original work published 1989) Bollas, C. (1996). Cracking up: The work of unconscious experience. New York, NY: Hill and Wang. Winnicott, D. W. (1990). Home is where we start from: Essays by a psychoanalyst. C. Winnicott, R. Sherperd, & M. Davis (Eds.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1986) Winnicott, D. W. (2005). Playing and reality. New York, NY: Routledge. (Original work published 1971)cient conditions in order for the class of Gorenstein projective complexes to be special precovering in the category of complexes of R-modules Ch(R). More precisely, we prove that if every complex in Ch(R) has a special Gorenstein flat cover, every Gorenstein projective complex is Gorenstein flat, and every Gorenstein flat complex has finite Goenstein projective dimension, then the class of Gorenstein projective complexes, GP(C), is special precovering in Ch(R).