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Hypertext UC Berkeley PDP TA Handbook

1996-1997 Table of Contents

Below is the original table of contents of the 1996-1997 PDP TA Reference Handbook, with hyperlinks when on-line material is available. For a copy of the original, please contact PDP directly.


The 1996-1997 PDP TA Reference Handbook

Professional Development Program

The University of California, Berkeley


Original Text: August 23rd, 1996

Hypertext Version: Valentine’s Day, 1999

New Hypertext Version: July 2nd, 2008

Part I. The Essentials

Part II. Nuts and Bolts


Part III. Extras

To the TA: How to Use this Manual

For your convenience and sanity, this manual has been separated into three parts. The first part is called Essentials, which is material we absolutely expect you to read and know. This section is (mercifully) short and to the point, and is essentially a list of TA duties and important resources available to you. You should actually use the checklist of TA duties to help keep track of your responsibilities.


The second part is called Nuts and Bolts. It is intended for you to look through for advice and wisdom for specific situations that occur in section. It is also intended to give you advice that can be applied directly in section. It is a collection of ideas that have been successfully used before and advice from TA’s who have grappled with problems similar to your own.


The final part, Extras, is everything else. This section expands upon material treated in the first two parts. In addition, it collects a lot of material which we want you to have, but perhaps can be skimmed at your own leisure. This includes background on the program and articles on education theory, calculus reform and sexism and racism. So, in short: absolutely read and know the Essentials. Use the checklist to keep on top of your responsibilities. Refer to Nuts and Bolts when you need ideas/advice for section. Read Extras when you want to expand your mind. Remember that you are helping us discover the best and most effective ways to teach. If you have suggestions for material that should go into this manual, or topics that should be covered, you absolutely should pass these suggestions on to Eric Hsu.

The Authors of the Contents

This is an adaptation and expansion of a manual originally compiled by Lily “Rover” Khadjavi. Eric Hsu edited the current version and is responsible for typos and mistakes. We have tried to credit the original authors throughout the actual manual. Much of Essentials was written by Dick Stanley. Steven Chin culled helpful stuff for Nuts and Bolts out of a big pile. Dara Sandow and James Epperson at the Dana Center in UT Austin wrote the materials in Chapter 5. Lana Fukasawa contributed ideas on student life and Professor Leon Henkin contributed a brief history of PDP. There were a few sources which may not have actually ended up in the book, but which we find particularly worth looking at: the MAA book, You’re the Professor, What’s Next; and the Graduate Assembly’s fine Learning to Teach book, which needs an update. Unfortunately, the Administration is trying to censor the manual and is withholding funds until the contents on graduate student unionism are changed.


This manual was specifically written to be used by motivated TA’s in the Professional Development Program. All the TAs undergo a two-day orientation and there is a knowledgeable staff which works hard to support the TAs, UGAs and the students. Our main goals were to make it light and make it useful. In short, this is meant to be useful, applicable information for a motivated teacher who wants to teach at PDP. This is not a document meant to convince you to teach at PDP or in PDP style. This is also not a document to show you how to adapt PDP ideas if you are missing crucial elements: support staff, control over section activities, motivated students, students with good preparation for calculus, enough section time, enough TA’s, comfortable physical locations, or other constraints. These are important and difficult questions, but not appropriate for this document.