Good teachers in Higher Education – born not made? An analysis of the views of novice academics in a Scottish university

McCulloch, M., Yao, E., MacEachern, K. and MacKenzie, J. (2010) Good teachers in Higher Education – born not made? An analysis of the views of novice academics in a Scottish university. In: Enhancing Learning Experiences in Higher Education: International Conference, Hong Kong, 2-3 Dec 2010,

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<p>In the United Kingdom, novice academic staff must undertake post-graduate study related to the Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in Higher Education (HEA, online). Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in the impact of the disciplines on academic development (cf Becher and Trowler, 2001; Young, 2010). As a result of this, and of feedback from previous participants, the University of Glasgow’s postgraduate certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) has been redesigned. Participants work in mixed discipline groups in year one, and complete the second year in one of three disciplinary streams: Arts, Education, Law and Social Sciences/Clinical subjects/Science and Engineering. Three academic development fellows (ADFs) (a physicist, a teacher educator and a veterinarian) were seconded on a part-time basis (0.2FTE) to work collaboratively in supporting the development of the second year of the programme. They consulted with a range of staff across the university regarding the PGCAP, planned together, along with full time members of the Academic Development Unit (ADU), and delivered teaching sessions to their disciplinary-specific cohorts of students and engaged in collaborative research into aspects of learning and teaching in HE. This paper outlines the initial findings from one of the areas of investigation. </p><p> Research offers different models of teacher development in HE, eg. Prosser & Trigwell (1999), Akerlind (2003), Biggs & Tang (2007); overall there is a sense that the focus moves from teacher transmission to student learning and interaction. In their inter-disciplinary discussions, the ADFs became interested in the idea of ‘good teaching’, wondering if individual conceptualisations of this term would be affected by disciplinary backgrounds or experience. They were also interested to find out how university teachers perceive their own future professional development as teachers. Twelve novice HE teachers were interviewed and this paper provides an analysis of the responses. Links will be made with Moore’s (2004) model of the changing discourse of ‘good teaching’ to construct a model for describing how different factors, including disciplinary background, impact on how novice teachers in HE conceptualise their developing practice. Implications for continuing professional development in HE will be considered.</p>

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCulloch, Dr Margaret
Authors: McCulloch, M., Yao, E., MacEachern, K., and MacKenzie, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership

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