22 SES 08 C, Professional Development and Identity
The Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) mission is to use its expertise and resources to support staff in higher education (HE) communities and institutions to enhance the quality and impact of learning and teaching. The HEA holds a unique position globally in that it is a body which recognises nationally the quality of teaching in higher education through the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) as well as promoting the enhancement of teaching and learning within HE. Currently 25% of academics working in the UK have been awarded the status of Fellow of the HEA having evidenced the descriptors within the UK PSF. In 2013 the Higher Level group on the Modernisation of HE submitted a report to the EU on improving the quality of teaching in HE. Recommendation 4 of this report stated ‘All staff teaching in higher education institutions in 2020 should have received certified pedagogical training. Continuous professional education as teachers should become a requirement for teachers in the higher education sector.’ The HEA has 10 years’ experience in these areas and this knowledge is now of great interest to HE colleagues within the European Union.
In the academic year 2014 – 2015 the HEA has been organising a series of ‘enhancement events’ which are free to Fellows of the HEA, bit.ly/1G8jppT. The profile of attendees is markedly different to those who have engaged with the HEA in previous years. To the end of January 2015, 706 academics have attended the events, of which only 30 had attended HEA events in the previous 2 years. The events include workshops lasting 2 - 4 hours on a range of topics: technology enhanced learning, engaged student learning, internationalising the curriculum etc. Some workshops have a more traditional format of input with discussions; others have used more creative contexts or learning strategies: simulations, use of poetry, dialogue sheets, rich pictures or metaphors.
Guskey (2002) asserts that changing practice in teaching and learning is a long term process of contact, feedback and follow up which involves professional development and exposure to new practices, teacher changing their practice and this longer term engagement with professional development can lead to changes in their beliefs and attitudes if they see a change in student outcomes as a result of changes in practice. Longer term engagement is not problematic for HEA colleagues facilitating the workshops, with different attendees at each event.
My research questions are: Does a short term exposure (of 2 – 4 hours) impact on academics’ practice? If so, are creative and interactive workshops more likely to affect change than more traditional formats?
This paper is of interest to colleagues working in professional development and the development of teaching and learning in HE across Europe as it could give indications of the type of CPD which is cost efffective and has impact.
Budge, K. & Clarke, A. (2012) Academic development is a creative act, International Journal for Academic Development 17:1 pp59-70 European Commission (2013), Report to the European Commission on Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Guskey, T.R., (1986) Staff Development and the Process of Teacher Change, Educational Researcher, 15:5 pp5-12 Guskey, T.R. (2002) Professional Development and Teacher Change, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 8:3, pp381-391 Guskey, T.R. (2003) Professional Development that Works: What Makes Professional Development Effective? Phi Delta Kappan Vol. 84 Guskey, T.R. & Yoon K.S., (2009) What Works in Professional Development? Phi Delta Kappan 90:7 pp495-500 Holloway J.H. (2006) Connecting Professional Development to Student Learning Gains, Science Educator 15:1pp37-41 Joyce, B. & Showers, B., (2003) Student Achievement through Staff Development, National College for School Leadership McCormick, R., Banks, F., Morgan, B., Opfer, V D., Pedder, D., Storey, A. and Wolfenden, F. (2008a) Literature Review Report: Schools and continuing professional development (CPD) in England – State of the Nation research project. A report for the Training and Development Agency for Schools. Cambridge: Cambridge University and the Open University. Pedder, D., Storey, A., Opfer, D. (2008). Schools and continuing professional development (CPD) in England – State of the Nation research project. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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