22 SES 01 D, Academic Work and Professional Development
During recent years, there has been increasing amount of research concerning university teachers’ pedagogical training. There has been studies on for example how pedagogical training has changed teachers’ attitudes and conceptions towards teaching and learning (e.g. Gibbs & Coffey, 2004), teaching skills and approaches to teaching (Gibbs et al., 2004; Postareff, 2007). According to Tynjälä (2010), self-regulation and reflection are central to developing as an expert (see also Schön, 1983) and a teacher (see also Biggs & Tang, 2007; Brookfield, 1995; McAlpine, Weston, Beauchamp, Wiseman & Beauchamp, 1999; Postareff, 2007). However, the relationship between reflection and action in teaching is far from clear (Mälkki & Linblom-Ylänne, 2012).
This case study aims to shed light into the developmental relationship between university teachers’ reflection and experienced pedagogical competence as university teachers. Development as a teacher in a wider sense is approached through Tynjälä’s (2010) Integrative pedagogy model. This model has been applied to teacher education context (Heikkinen, Tynjälä & Kiviniemi, 2011). Integrative pedagogy model suggests that learning environment is ideal when all the elements of being expert – theoretical, practical, self-regulative and socio-cultural knowledge – are involved in a way that they can be integrated. Reflection is an important tool for clarifying and giving meaning for complex ideas and experiences (Tynjälä, 2010; Moon, 1999).
The context of this case study is university pedagogical course (10 ects) for university teachers at a multidisciplinary Finnish university. The course was part of a larger training (25 ects). Before the teachers applied to the course, they had to have completed at least five ects of pedagogical studies. Thirty-one teachers with different disciplinary backgrounds completed the course. The course was designed to last for nine months and it was carried out for the first time. The key idea of the course was to support teachers to recognize and evaluate their own strengths and development needs as teachers and facilitate their development as teachers. Working methods used in this course were activating and required reflective working. The course included activating teaching and learning sessions, small group meetings, individual writing tasks, reflective writing tasks and guided teaching practice.
Teachers’ pedagogical competence areas in this study were based widely on the ideas of constructive alignment and learning outcomes (Biggs & Tang, 2007; Moon, 2004) and formulated by using earlier definition work done by different international projects in the field of teacher accreditation (e.g. SEDA’s fellowship scheme) and subject-specific competencies (e.g. TUNING -project).
Research questions were:
How university teachers evaluate and reflect on the development of their pedagogical competence areas during university pedagogical training?
- What kind of pedagogical competence areas university teachers evaluate they have at the beginning and at the of end pedagogical training?
- What areas of pedagogical competence have enhanced the most during the pedagogical training according to university teachers’ self-evaluations, and how do the university teachers reflect on them in their reflective writings during the course?
Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university. What the student does. (3rd ed.) Maidenhead: Open University Press. Brookfield, S. D. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. Gibbs, G. & Coffey, M. (2004). The impact of training of university teachers on their teaching skills, their approaches to teaching and the approach to learning of their students. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5, 87 – 100. Heikkinen, H. L. T., Tynjälä, P. & Kiviniemi, U. (2011). Integrative Pedagogy in Practicum. In M. Mattsson, T. Vidar Eilertsen, D. Rorrison (Eds.). A Practicum Turn in Teacher Education. Series: Pedagogy, Education and Praxis, 6, 91-112. Rotterdam: SensePublishers. McAlpine, L., Weston, C., Beauchamp, J., Wiseman, C., & Beauchamp, C. (1999). Building a metacognitive model of reflection. Higher Education, 37, 105-131. Metsämuuronen, J. (2006). Tutkimuksen tekemisen perusteet ihmistieteissä. [Basics of Research in Human Sciences]. Opiskelijalaitos.2. laitos, 3.uudistettu painos. Helsinki: International Methelp. (In Finnish) Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page. Moon, J. (2004). Linking levels, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria. Exeter University. Available online: http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/qualification/040701-02Linking_Levels_plus_ass_crit-Moon.pdf. (cited 17.1.2013) Mälkki, K. & Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2012). From Reflection to Action? Barries and Bridges between Higher Education Teachers’ Thought and Actions. Studies in Higher Education 37(1), 33 – 50. Postareff, L. (2007). Teaching in higher education. From content-focused to learning-focused approaches to teaching. Academic dissertation. Helsinki: University of Helsinki. Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books. Tynjälä, P. (2010). Asiantuntijuuden kehittämisen pedagogiikkaa. [Pedagogy of Developing Expertise].Teoksessa K. Collin, S. Paloniemi, H. Rausku-Puttonen & P. Tynjälä (toim.). Luovuus, oppiminen ja asiantuntijuus. Helsinki: WSOYpro Oy. (In Finnish)
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