ERG SES C 07, Higher Education
Certified pedagogical training of all teaching staff in higher education institutions in 2020 is one of the recommendations proposed by the High Level Group for the Modernisation of Higher Education, set up by the European Commissioner for Education (McAleese, 2013). While in some countries many universities have been developing training programs for decades (Chalmers, 2015), much remains to be done in other nations. Particularly, most of Spanish universities undertook teaching staff training programs after signing the Bologna Treaty in 1999 (Amador, 2012), but many of them maintained a unified and ideal image of the research function and did not prioritize the challenges demanded by the teaching role (Rué, 2014). Moreover, some of the training programs were not based on a robust scientific foundation or on the observance of the beliefs and attitudes of teaching staff about pedagogical training and professional limitations in different areas (e.g., methodology, tutoring, assessment techniques, educational use of knowledge and learning technologies, or innovation). Both factors are meaningful when an impact is pursued (Triadó, Estebanell, Màrquez & del Corral, 2014).
Teaching and learning at the university requires the development of individual skills to meet the pedagogical and curricular standards demanded by new academic qualifications (Gillis, Clemet, Laga & Pauwels, 2008). If the resulting professional profile is consistent with the training model, the pedagogical knowledge and educational practices of faculty in higher education can likely change (Gibbs & Coffey, 2004; Mayor & Palmer, 2006).
This study tackles the problem of teaching staff training in one of the Spanish universities that is making a great effort to design an ambitious plan for the initial and continuous professional development of its staff: the University of Cordoba (Andalusia, Spain). Specifically, the study is aimed at 1) describing the training needs of teaching staff, so that the gathered self-report data could be used as one of the pillars for designing the training plan, and 2) identifying the need for improving teaching competences in different scientific areas and in staff with a diverse amount of experience.
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