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10 • CHAPTER 1

institution you have joined. If you are at a major research university, you might be asked to teach only two courses per term, and perhaps only one of these will be at the undergraduate level. You might at first be assigned only one course (perhaps a graduate seminar) so that you can get your bearings and establish your lab or scholarly work. If you are at a large community college, you were probably hired primarily, or exclusively as a teacher. If you are not expected to engage in research, your teaching assignment might include two or more sections of two or more courses, for a total of four to six classes per term. Obviously, the heavier your teaching assignment, the more courses you have to prepare, the less experience you have in teaching them, and the less support there is to ease the burden, the more daunting and stressful the teaching task is likely to be.

Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching
As already mentioned, we believe that the principles of effective teaching, and most teaching skills, apply equally well at the graduate and undergraduate level. You should be aware, however, that the characteristics and needs of undergraduate and graduate students in psychology differ enough that a slightly different approach is required for each group. Most notably, undergraduates, especially those in their first term at college, tend to need more support and socialization into the culture of higher education than do graduate students (Erickson & Strommer, 1991). Many undergraduates come to college from a high school culture where the rules and expectations are considerably different from those of the culture they are about to enter. For example, they might have been accustomed to having small classes taught by teachers who knew them personally, and who took time to remind them about upcoming assignments, quizzes, and exams and the need to prepare for them. Further, as college-bound members of their graduating class, they might have become used to being among the "smart" kids and performing well above average without having to exert all the effort of which they are capable. Finally, they might have depended on their parents to get them out of bed and off to class on time, not to mention assuring that they were fed and dressed in clean clothes. Most of these familiar circumstances change in college. Students who live at home might retain some of the perks of childhood, but their college teachers are far less likely to track their progress or question irregular attendance or poor performance. They may be faced