Early-Career Pedagogical Practice: The Value of Training Undergraduates to Teach

Chandler E. G. Carr and Kira Bailey



Pedagogical experiences prior to a career in higher education are limited, particularly for interested undergraduates. We detail here the experience of an undergraduate mentored in pedagogical techniques such as topic and reading selection, assessment creation and grading, and classroom management. Their pedagogical training included co-instructing a course with their mentor. The mentee found the experience to be rewarding, learning the areas in which they excelled and struggled. For the mentor, this was a valuable opportunity to reflect on their own pedagogical choices and techniques. The process provided a new perspective for each of us as we viewed the course through the lens of the other person. More opportunities for undergraduates to undertake similar roles may strengthen teaching in higher education and grant early career experiences to interested individuals. Though rewarding, course construction and implementation is time-consuming and difficult. Balancing time and effort beyond the class is a required skill, and frequent communication between the mentee and mentor is necessary.