22 SES 01 D, Constructions and Expectations: Teaching in Higher Education
The higher education area has been undergoing fundamental changes which have led to massive adjustments for institutions (Rhein, 2015). Austria’s academic programme for initial teacher education has as well undergone a fundamental reform. The new study program provides master levels for all teachers and enables professional as well as scientific qualifications and competences on a high level. Initial teacher training has been implemented in four cluster regions by collaborating Universities and University Colleges of Teacher Education (Messner et al., 2018). It can be assumed that fundamental changes for both, institutions and teacher educators have emerged in this process.
The traditional approach of academic learning and teaching has also changed since Bologna. The new paradigm “shift from teaching to learning” is characterized by teacher educators who identify themselves as didactic leaders. Students are seen as active learners and supported by university teachers. One of the key components of high-quality teaching are student-centred learning processes (Paetz et al., 2011). Klinger (2011) summarizes characteristics of a supportive learning environment as well-structured, embedded in appropriate motivational contexts, containing cooperative learner activities and self-monitoring of students. Successful academic learning processes engage students to a deep approach as well as self-determined learning (ebd.).
Supporting the professional development of teacher educators has therefore become an important field for Universities offering teacher-training programms (Amtmann, et al., under review). Our research bases on the Teaching Competence Model of Science Space Styria (TCM-S) which consists of four competence areas: attitudes and values, methodological and didactical skills, institutional context knowledge, social and personal competences (Salmhofer, 2016). In a quantitative survey, 241 first semester students of the University College of Teacher Education Styria participated in an online survey. The results have shown that in general, they start with high expectations of their teacher educators’ academic competences. Methodological and didactical skills as well as institutional contextual knowledge have been rated as being of great importance for the entrants (Amtmann et al., under review). Investigating a deeper insight into entrants’ expectations, a qualitative interview study with students was conducted during the same period as the quantitative survey. This paper focuses on the qualitative survey with first semester teacher students and asks for relevant characteristics of academic teaching. The results are discussed with regard to implications for developing academic teaching competences of teacher educators.
In this research we focus on teacher students of the 2016-17 cohort (172 primary school students; 991 secondary school students). Students were selected randomly from both types of age groups (primary and secondary level) with regard to gender distributions within the subsamples. The sample for the semi-standardized face-to-face interviews consist of 19 primary school teachers and 15 secondary school teachers. Interviews were recorded and fully transcribed. For this paper interviews were analysed with focus on expectations of student teachers concerning academic teaching. Data were coded by research teams using the open access web application QCAmap for systematic text analysis (content analysis following Mayring, 2014). Therefore, the procedure of inductive category development was applied. In the next step, categories were organized into main and sub-categories. Finally, a compact summary was compiled for each main category of both courses of study (primary and secondary teacher students). Frequency charts provide an overview of the distribution of main categories.
University entrants are seen as an important target group. The early identification as successful learners play an important role. Universities offer special entrance programms or pre-entry activities e.g. to building up confidence and knowledge between students and academic staff (Parkes, 2014). However, our research wants to investigate students’ expectations on academic teaching and what they expect in the beginning of their academic career. Presumably, students expect support from academic staff. This includes friendly and understanding professors with extensive social competences as well as high teaching competences. In this presentation, the results are presented and interpreted with regard to literature findings. The focus will be on similarities and differences between subjective relevant expectations of students and theoretically based knowledge. Results may contribute to a deeper understanding about students’ demands on academic teaching. In addition, implications for professional development of academic staff are discussed.
Amtmann, E., Matischek-Jauk, M., & Krammer, G. (under review). Austria’s innovative initial teacher education reform. Which academic teaching competences do first semester students expect from teacher educators? Association for Teacher Educators in Europe, Annual Conference 2017, Conference Proceeding. Mayring, P. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Klagenfurt. URL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173. Messner, E., Krainz-Dürr, M., & Fischer, R. (2018). Lehrer/innenbildung in Österreich. PädagogInnenbildung NEU – ein Jahrhundertgesetz. In A. Altrichter, B., Hanfstingl, Krainer, K., Krainz-Dürr, M., Messner, E., & Thonhauser, J. (Hrsg.), Baustellen in der österreichischen Bildungslandschaft. Münster. Waxmann. Paetz, N. V., Ceylan, F., Fiehn, J., Schworm, S., & Harteis, C. (2011). Kompetenz in der Hochschuldidaktik: Ergebnisse einer Delphi-Studie über die Zukunft der Hochschullehre. Springer-Verlag. Parkes, S. (2014). Fostering a sense of belonging: Supporting the early formation of student identity as successful learners in higher education. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 667(7), 1-22. Rhein, R. (2015). Hochschulisches Lernen–eine analytische Perspektive. Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung-Report, 38(3), 347-363. Salmhofer, G. (2016). Ein Lehrkompetenzmodell für den Steirischen Hochschulraum. In Qualität in Studium und Lehre (pp. 121-144). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
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