University-wide Career Development focused on Learning and Teaching: Participant Perspectives

Year: 2015

Author: Cary, Lisa, Bryant, Mike

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

It is vital that today’s universities attend to the need for advanced understanding of learning and teaching in their entire academic workforce (Coates and Geodegebuure, 2012; Tait, Yorke & Knight, 2006; Nathan and Petrosino, 2003). This presentation will discuss a research project that has investigated the perspectives of academic participants in a pilot career development programme on “Learning and Teaching” in a university setting. This project utilised the principles of a case study, grounded in the perspectives of the participants at the end of the pilot programme. The foundational assumptions of the programme included notions of reflective and deliberative practice (Bronkhorst, Meijer, Koster & Vermunt, 2014) and the association between professional learning and evidence of the impact of professional practice on student outcomes.
Our investigation centred upon the discursive production of notions of learning and teaching within higher education. During the presentation, we will explore the findings, suggesting ways in which these might influence future programme design, and also enrich broader organisational discourse and development. Finally, as it has become increasingly important to also address issues of positionality in educational research, this presentation will view the data through the lens of the researchers’ personal/professional positionalities (Roman, 1993; Villenas, 1996; St. Pierre, 2000; Pillow, 2000). Both presenters are situated within post-positivist theoretical frameworks, at the same time being committed to effecting change within a particular organisational context. Overall, the presentation will inform and support future programmatic work in this area and add to our understanding of the ways in which the notions of learning and teaching are understood in higher education.