12 SES 03, Parallel Paper Session / Round Table
Paper Session/Round Table
One anticipated outcome of a doctorate is teaching. However, while doctoral students are frequently called upon to participate in teaching, they often do not receive formal instruction and support for university teaching (e.g., Smith et al, 2010). In 2010-2011 a new course, entitled Learning to Teach; Teaching to Learn. Developing Effective Practices in 3rd Level Education, was offered in University College Dublin, providing doctoral students with the opportunity to explore effective means of creating curricula, presenting content, engaging students in learning and integrating e-learning tools in teaching and learning in an actual undergraduate class environment.
A need for formal teaching support for development of doctoral student teaching was observed in the behaviour of doctoral students in the UCD School of Information & Library Studies (SILS). Doctoral students often expressed a desire to participate in teaching in the school, but lacked training and skills to teach effectively. Teaching is an activity that many doctoral students will do throughout their academic careers; however, doctoral students typically lack a clear understanding of the challenges associated with teaching and of the equivalent significance of teaching in 3rd level education in comparison with research activities. Recognizing and addressing the need to support doctoral teaching is of mutual benefit to development of doctoral education and to teaching in the university.
Providing teaching support for doctoral students is not unique to a particular subject, school, or institution. Across disciplines and institutions worldwide, doctoral students may find themselves teaching (e.g., Mycock, 2007) and there seems to be general agreement that formal teaching preparation of doctoral students is needed, formal teaching support is often lacking. For example, Brightman (2009) observed that renewed interest in teaching in business schools had not transferred to formal, systemic preparation of doctoral students to teach. Similarly, Watson et al (2010) noted that science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduate programs often provide little or no formal training for doctoral students to teach, raising concerns the transition from doctoral student to faculty and the quality of course delivery. Harland and Plangger (2004) and Hopwood and Stocks (2008) observed conflict between the goals of research (knowledge generation) and teaching (knowledge transfer) which highlighted the additional learning needs of doctoral students to accommodate both research and teaching expectations.
A challenge applicable to students across disciplines became clear:
How can we best prepare and mentor our doctoral students to become effective teachers?
Brightman, H.J. (2009). The Need for Teaching Doctoral Students How to Teach. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 4: 1-11. Forming Global Minds: Strategic Plan to 2014. (2010). University College Dublin. Available: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/plan_FINAL.pdf. Harland, T. and Plangger, G. (2004). The Postgraduate Chameleon: Changing Roles in Doctoral Education. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5 (1): 73-86. Hopwood, N. and Stocks, C. (2008). Teaching Development for Doctoral Students: What Can We Learn From Activity Theory? International Journal for Academic Development, 13 (3): 187–198. Mycock, A. (2007). ‘Where’s the Real Lecturer?’: The Experiences of Doctoral Educators in the UK. European Political Science, 6: 208-218. Smith, A., Bradshaw, T., Burnett, K., Docherty, D., Purcell, W., and Worthington, S. (2010). One Step Beyond: Making the Most of Postgraduate Education. UK: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Available: www.bis.gov.uk/one-step-beyond. Watson, M., Corbett, K., Prather, K., Carpenter, J., Cronk, S. (2010). Fostering Dissemination Skills in Stem Doctoral Students: Tips for the PhD Student and the General Impact on Stem Undergraduates. Paper AC 2010-2050. Presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Louisville, KY, June 20-23. Available: http://iserc.latech.edu/pubs/2010/2010_ASEE_2050_Mentoring_Grad_Students.pdf.
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