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This study examines the perceptions of first-year, mathematics graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) participating in a six-week summer course designed to deepen their knowledge of collegiate mathematics teaching practices before being assigned to instruct undergraduate students in the subsequent fall semester. Through hybrid deductive-inductive thematic analysis, GTAs’ written reflections were analyzed and matched against changes in their self-efficacy assessed along two conceptual dimensions: self-improvement and stimulation of student learning. Results suggest that GTAs’ conceptualization of teaching practice informs changes in self-efficacy along both conceptual dimensions, with efficacy in self-improvement changing more than that of their ability to stimulate student learning. Therefore, the strength of the efficacy changes may be moderated by features of the professional development course. We explore defining features of the professional development course employed in this study, describing implications for the education and development of novice collegiate mathematics instructors, and the potential to optimize change along both conceptual dimensions of self-efficacy.
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