The influence of psychological empowerment on the enhancement of chemistry laboratory demonstrators' perceived teaching self-image and behaviours as graduate teaching assistants
Graduate students who fulfill teaching roles in the undergraduate laboratory play an important role in establishing a positive learning environment. A host of various graduate teacher training programmes have been developed, implemented and evaluated accordingly in order to enhance their teaching capability. In addition research has also documented the varied or sometimes complex factors that influence graduate students' teaching capability. This present study set out to explore graduate students' sense of psychological empowerment as an influencing factor on their perceived teaching self-image and behaviours. The Teaching as a Chemistry Laboratory Graduate Teaching Assistant (TCL-GTA) programme was developed to enhance the sense of psychological empowerment experienced by seven chemistry graduate students at an Irish University as a means of enhancing their perceived teaching self-image and behaviours. The data collected throughout this study involved both qualitative and quantitative forms through conducting interviews and administering questionnaires. The findings of this research suggest that the level of psychological empowerment experienced by graduate students lends considerable and positive contributions to their perceived teaching self-image and behaviours which are influenced by a number of contextual, training and personal factors. This research should interest those involved in teaching chemistry in higher education as well as those interested in empowerment of either teachers or postgraduate students undertaking teaching duties.