Department of Educational Administration


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Research in Higher Education 41:3 (2000), pp. 353-383.


Copyright © 2000 Human Sciences Press, Inc.; published by Springer Verlag. Used by permission.


For many graduate teaching assistants, the task of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling classroom environments can be overwhelming. Empirical research pertaining to major classroom management problems experienced by TAs is scarce. This article is a report of a survey study regarding TA classroom management at a large, land-grant Research 1 University. The study provides specific information about TAs’ perceptions of classroom management experiences and concerns based on TA type, gender, teaching experience, and academic discipline. The results of the study indicate that international and U.S. TAs experienced many common problems, but each of the two types of TAs also had unique problems. More U.S. TAs than international TAs reported experiencing classroom management problems. The years of TA teaching experience were significantly related to the number of classroom management problems and concerns TAs reported. Regression analysis revealed that TA type, teaching experience, and academic discipline, but not gender, were significant predictors of classroom problems and concerns. Discussion of the results, implications, and suggestions for further research are included.