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Abstract

This study evaluated how the pairing of sessional teaching staff in a large first-year undergraduate science subject provided context-specific professional development for sessional teaching staff. We used a likert-scale questionnaire to ask sessional staff to rate how effectively peer-pairing in the classroom contributed to a range of teaching skills and capacities. Irrespective of the level of teaching experience, all sessional teaching staff rated the pairings as very beneficial to extremely beneficial for support with subject content. Lesser-experienced peers also found the pairings to be very beneficial to extremely beneficial for developing classroom management and student interaction techniques. This evaluation of peer-pairing in a large first-year science subject demonstrates the strategy can be an effective means of providing teaching development opportunities for sessional teaching staff, and facilitates particular teacher-student interactions to engage students in discipline-based discourse about their learning and their transition to university life

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