22 SES 01 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Contemporary conception of learning as an active construction of knowledgehas facilitated a shift from teaching-centred approach towards learning-centred approach in higher education. Although the literature on teaching and learning in higher education (e.g. Biggs & Tang, 2008; Fry, Ketteridge, & Marshall, 2009; Light, Cox, & Calkins, 2009; Ramsden, 2003) and professional development programs (e.g. Gibbs & Coffey, 2004; McAlpine, Amundsen, Clement, & Light , 2009; Postareff, Lindblom-Ylänne, & Nevgi, 2008) emphasize the importance of learning-centred teaching in higher education, the obstacles that can occur in its implementation are common overall at European universities (teaching traditions, multitude of acadmics' obligations of work, large number of students).
Kember (1997) finds that generally the university teachers’ teaching conceptions are placed under two broad orientations: teacher-centred, those that focus on communication of defined bodies of content or knowledge, and student-centred that focus on students’ learning. Subsequent studies of teaching conceptions also support Kember’s (1997) conceptualization (e.g. Postareff & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2008). As an important aspect of teaching conceptions Postareff and Lindblom-Ylänne (2008) emphasize the way university teachers describe the roles of a university teacher and a student and the teacher-student relationships. In learning-centred conception, a teacher is seen as a facilitator who has an equal relationship with the students. Students are seen as active participants, capable of finding answers by themselves. A content-centred university teacher describes oneself as an expert, and university teacher has a more distant relationship with the students. Teacher sees students as recipients and listeners and students are seen as a large crowd of people. According to Biesta (2010) the equality of relationship and the expectations towards the learner are also reflected by how we call the one who is being taught (learner, student, speaker).
People talk and act not just as individuals, but as members of various sorts of social and cultural groups (Gee, 2011). Quinn (2012) distinguishes a number of discourses which construct university teachers attitudes to teaching and learning (for example disciplinary, student deficit, performativity), which also reflect cultural and institutional context. Therefore, it is likely that novice university teachers gradually acquire or oppose academic conventions and community (disciplinary) traditions about how to talk about students and teaching.
Since previous research has shown that university teachers’ conceptions of teaching are not fixed but change with increasing teaching practice (Gibbs and Coffey, 2004; Lindblom-Ylänne, Nevgi, &Trigwell, 2011; Remmik & Karm, 2013), then it is important to look closer novice university teachers discourses of teaching.
The aim of this paper is to analyze, with the use of discourse analysis, how university teachers’ use of language in the interviews reflects their attitude towards students and teaching. According to a discursive approach, discourse reflects and constructs the social world through many different sign systems, language as a constructive tool is one of the core assumptions of discourse analysis (Coyle, 2007).
- how does novice university teachers’ use of language in the interviews reflect their attitudes towards students and teaching?
- how do novice university teachers’ attitudes towards students and teaching change with increasing teaching practice?
References Biesta, G. (2010). Learner, Student, Speaker: Why it matters how we call those we teach. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(5-6), 540-552. Coyle, A. (2007). Discourse analysis. E. Lyons , A. Coyle (Eds) Analysing Qualitative Data in Psychology. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: SAGE Publications, p. 98- 116. Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research, London: Routledge. Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university. Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill Education. Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., & Marshall, S. (Eds). (2009). A handbook for teaching and learning in higher education: enhancing academic practice. New York: Routledge. Gee, J.P. (2011). Discourse Analysis: What makes it Critical? R. Rogers (Eds) An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education, New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 23-45. Gibbs, G., & Coffey, M. (2004). The impact of training of university teachers on their teaching skills, their approach to teaching and the approach to learning of their sudents. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5(1), 87-100. Kember, D. (1997). A reconceptualization of the research into university academics’ conceptions of teaching. Learning and Instruction, 7(3), 255–275. McAlpine, L., Amundsen, C., Clement, M., & Light, G. (2009). Rethinking our underlying assumptions about what we do and why we do it: academic development as a case. Studies in Continuing Education, 31(3), 261-280. Postareff, L., & Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2008). Variation in teachers’ descriptions of teaching: Broadening the understanding of teaching in higher education. Learning and Instruction, 18(2), 109–120. Postareff, L., Lindblom-Ylänne, S., & Nevgi, A. (2008). A follow-up study of the effect of pedagogical training on teaching in higher education. Higher Education, 56, 29-43. Remmik, M., & Karm, M. (2013). From teaching to guiding learning: Novice university teachers’ conceptions of teaching. In E. Saar & R. Mõttus (Eds.), Higher Education at a crossroad: The case of Estonia (pp. 199–216). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. Light, G., Cox,R., & Calkins, S. (2009). Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: The Reflective Practitioner, London: SAGE Publications. Ramsden, P.(2003). Learning to Teach in Higher Education (2nd Edition). London,New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Stes, A., Clement, M., & Petegem, P.V. (2007). The Effectiveness of a Faculty Training Programme: Long-term and institutional impact. International Journal for Academic Development, 12 (2), 99-109. Quinn, L. (2012). Understanding resistance: an analysis of discourses in academic staff development. Studies in Higher Education, 37(1), 69-83.
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