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What Factors Influence the Development of the T&L Regime of New University Teachers?

Philip Long, Faculty of Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK

Dearing report (1997) which suggested all lectures should have professional development for teaching.

At Anglia Ruskin all new staff must do pg certificate . It is taught over 2 semesters and one afternoon per week. Although all staff are ‘pressed’ to do course, staff satisfaction rates are high.

Knights’ work on what has influence on new University lecturers:

  • Discipline
  • Colleagues/ departments/learning on job
  • Concept of what teaching is
  • Training courses

So paradox- course seems to do what it is supposed to but literature says something different.

Approached 44 people who had completed the course but chose 8 to work with who came from different disciplines. First completed open ended questionnaire then semi structured interviews.  These courses promote very strong reactions and one view is that these sorts of courses are a waste of time, other view is that these courses produce better teachers. Wanted to test these views with his students.

Literature says there is a very strong link between discipline and teaching, but students felt the link was less clear.

Influence of colleagues –were they inspirational? Variability in responses, some very positive and some very negative!

Definitions of ‘good teaching’ –more consensus around role of lecturer as a facilitator and student engagement as important.

How did PG cert contribute? Some felt empowered and given confidence both in approach and experimentation as well as seeing learning as a messy concept which can explore with students. Others felt that a gave them space to need theory and reflect.

Findings

  • Discipline is important but discipline alone is not enough
  • Learning on the job is not enough for everyone
  • Consistently learner focused
  • All were consistent in positive influence of PG Cert

This was a small, self selecting sample but there is still some credibility and trustworthiness in their views.


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