22 SES 01 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
Even though development is an on-going process in higher education and teaching practices are actively promoted, teachers usually work individually and alone. This is perhaps also reflected in the lack of practices and models of multidisciplinary collaboration in pedagogical development that are, however, relevant for high-quality higher education (Knubb-Manninen, 2002). To address this lack, a pilot university- level multidisciplinary network project, “Interactive teaching and learning”, has been introduced at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland during the academic year 2011–2012. The project aims to 1) develop interactive teaching and learning methods in higher education, 2) share good practices and 3) support continuous development of teaching by creating networks among departments and units. Pedagogical and communal development within the project is based on the widely accepted socio-cultural perspective for learning which emphasizes collaboration, the construction of meaning through interaction with others and mutual problem solving (Littleton & Häkkinen, 1999; Vygotsky,1978; Wenger, 1998). Interactive pedagogy in higher education offers opportunities for students to practice their competences important in working life in socially heterogeneous groups, such as social interaction which is found to be inadequately achieved as an outcome of education (Teichler, 2007; Tynjälä et al., 2006).
The research questions were:
1) How did teachers experience the use of interactive practices in their course and in a multidisciplinary network?
2) What kind of obstacles and opportunities did teachers perceive in the development of interactive teaching?
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