22 SES 08 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Teachership in university has been studied relatively little for the present. In the university the ones who take care of the teaching tasks, form a quite heterogeneous group of experts of different fields and they may not have any common educational background or route to the teaching position (Ramsden, 2003). Thus their basic task as teachers and researchers is two-fold, teaching and research are differently emphasised at different stages of their career. The research career has usually been better articulated and clearer choice than a teaching career (Knight, 2002). Furthermore, the beginning assistant can act as a university teacher similarly like a senior lecturer or professor who has concentrated on his/her teaching tasks already decades (Keskinen, Lepistö & Keskinen, 2005; Korhonen & Koivisto, 2007). The teaching has in the higher education setting conditions which are related to the academic work culture and which regulate the possibilities of professional development, cooperation and the teaching career (see Korhonen & Koivisto, 2007).
As such, the concept of identity has been defined in versatile ways. The identity may be determined according to the features which are characteristic to the person and which separate him/her from others. The social construction of identity is based on agency in the social relationships in a community and in its moral order. (Côté & Levine, 2002.) The relationship of the university teacher to his/her work and to the dominating culture in the work community is strongly determining the identity. It is often presented, what a more internally motivated person is to his/her work, more committed he/she is to it, and more the performance in work affects to the own competence (Keskinen, Lepistö & Keskinen, 2005). However, there are many drawbacks in academic work and work culture, such as the lack of time and resources, the weak appreciation of teaching and the discontinuity in teaching, which make the reaching of a strong teachership and identity much more difficult. University teacher struggles in his/her career and professional development between the challenges of content, community and routine orientations in relation to the work (Huberman, 1995; Järvinen, 1999; Korhonen & Koivisto, 2007).
The core aspects of teachership in present-day university, identity and work culture, are approached in this presentation from the point of view of the metaphor analysis (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; 1999; Schmitt 2005). The use of metaphors can give to the teacher a reflective tool to examine more consciously conceptions concerning their teaching and teacher role in academic community. The idea of using metaphor can be understood, either that the new and strange matter will be analysed through the familiar terms, or the familiar matter will be analysed from the images or terms borrowed from the new circumstances.
Côté, J.E. & Levine, C.G. (2002). Identity formation, agency, and culture: a social psychological synthesis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Huberman, M. (1995). Professional careers and professional development. In T.R.Guskey & M.Huberman (eds.) Professional development in education. New paradigms and practices. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 193 – 224. Järvinen, A. (1999). Opettajan ammatillinen kehitysprosessi ja sen tukeminen (Teachers’ professional development process and supporting it). In A. Eteläpelto & P. Tynjälä (eds.) Oppiminen ja asiantuntijuus. Helsinki: WSOY, 258 – 274. Keskinen, S., Lepistö, O. & Keskinen, E. (2005). Yliopisto-opettajien identiteetit (University teachers’ identities). In H. Aittola & O-H. Ylijoki (eds.) Tulosohjattua autonomiaa. Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 67 – 83. Knight, P. T. (2002) Being a Teacher in Higher Education. SRHE & Open University Press. Buckingham. Korhonen, V. & Koivisto, M. (2007). Muuttuvat oppimisympäristöt ja yliopisto-opettajan asiantuntijuus (Changing learning environments and university teachers’ expertise). In V. Korhonen (ed.) Muuttuvat oppimisympäristöt yliopistossa? Tampere: Tampere University Press, 59 – 80. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chigago: Chigaco University Press. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. New York: Basic Books. Nevgi, A., & Toom, A. (2009). Yliopisto-opettajan opettajanidentiteetti. (University teachers’ teacher identity. Published in Finnish) In S. Lindblom-Ylänne & A. Nevgi (eds.) Yliopisto-opettajan käsikirja. Helsinki: WSOY. 412-426. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge. Schmitt, R. (2005). Systematic Metaphor Analysis as a Method of Qualitative Research. The Qualitative Report, 10 (2), 358 – 394.
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