Katherine Gelinas

Title: Investigating Instructor Talk in Undergraduate Biology Laboratory Classrooms Taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants

Instructors shape the classroom environment through what they say and do. Previous research has investigated Instructor Talk, or "any language used by an instructor that is not directly related to the concepts under study but instead focuses on creating the learning environment" (Seidel et al., 2015; Harrison et al., 2019).Wehypothesize that Instructor Talk can have a profound impact on students due to previous research aboutstereotype threat, instructor immediacy, and student resistance to student-centered learning environments (Mehrabian, 1971; Steele & Aronson, 1995).Previous researchcharacterized Instructor Talk in the context of lecture classrooms taught by biology facultyand established a framework for analyzing Instructor Talk, which is provided in AppendixTable 1 (Seidel et al., 2015; Harrison et al., 2019).But for many students in STEM majors, a significant portion of their education is spent in laboratory classrooms, many of which are taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). My thesis researchwill investigate Instructor Talk in SFSU biology laboratory classrooms taught by GTAs. Because of the near-peer relationship between GTAs and undergraduate students, Ipredictthat there is a rich and distinct set of Instructor Talk being usedby GTAs that has never been studied. Importantly, GTAs may play an under-appreciated role in promoting diversityand inclusion for undergraduate biologystudents.