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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The division between "us researchers" and "the others"

"When it comes to teaching in the scientific field, development as a teacher may be contradicted with developing as a researcher. In science and technology, as also in other academic fields and disciplines, teaching is often something that comes as a surprise for new academics. They possess a doctoral education preparing them for acting as researchers in their own field of expertise, but most of them have no pedagogical education, pedagogical training, or previous teaching experience. Thus while the teachers-to-be are experts in their own field of study, they are novices as teachers and new to pedagogical thinking. As a high proportion of faculty traditionally views teaching as a transmission of knowledge, the novice teachers should be encouraged to reflect on their pedagogical thinking and be exposed to more effective, constructive conceptions. In most universities, the academic reward systems are mainly based on research-based merits, such as the number of publications. According to previous studies, most university teachers value academic research over university teaching. How do these academics then develop to be competent university teachers?"


Developing as a teacher in the fields of science and technology. Teaching in Higher Education 01 Apr 2014 doi: 10.1080/13562517.2014.901957
In universities, development as a teacher may be contradicted with developing as a researcher. Most previous studies have investigated pedagogical development merely as a result of pedagogical training and ignored the dual teacher-researcher identity. This study examines what kind of meaningful experiences are perceived to have triggered and influenced the process of developing as a teacher in the fields of science and technology. The data were gathered by interviewing 10 academics who had participated in a pedagogical training offered by a Finnish technical university between 1999 and 2009. Based on a narrative analysis utilizing dimensions of transformative learning, the results highlight the influence of the working environment and experiences, and imply that teacher development process in the fields of science and technology can be better understood in terms of becoming a teacher, rather than as a continual, conscious development process. The resulting teacher-researcher identity provides a basis for pedagogical development.




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