June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Continuing Professional Development
13.96.1 - 13.96.16
A Review of Professional Qualification, Development, and Recognition of Faculty Teaching in Higher Education around the World
Recent discussion within the engineering education community has included how to document progressive skills in scholarly teaching and whether a philosophy of engineering education can improve the practice of engineering education. As these types of discussions move forward, it will be helpful to provide some context as to how these ideas might formally manifest themselves. This paper provides a global overview of models for faculty development and recognition in teaching in higher education.
Few would disagree with the idea that educating the next generation of leaders in both academia and industry is at the heart of what higher education is all about. However, in the US, while many faculty are dedicated to becoming outstanding educators, the general assumption is that holding a PhD in a core technical area is sufficient to be qualified as an academic educator. This no longer holds true (and maybe never did). In order to address this issue, a number of models have been proposed and/or implemented in other parts of the world (Europe, Australia, Asia). These models seek to provide both professional qualification and recognition for educators working in higher education. Accordingly, the research question addressed in this paper is: what models for professional development and recognition in higher education have been explored or implemented around the world? The approaches used to address this question are: conversations with leaders in engineering education, participation in conference discussions on this topic, and a literature survey.
As a result of these efforts, this paper first reports an overview of existing model types. Major differences in the types of models are explained in terms of duration, incorporation with promotion and tenure, and what components of educational practice are included in the model. Next, the various characteristics of individual models are documented in terms of content and practicum components, contexts for implementation, and how the models work within their various contexts. Finally, due to the inherently political and emotional nature of considering the use of these models with the US, a brief reflection on experiences and lessons learned from these models is presented as relevant to US higher education.
Few would disagree with the idea that educating the next generation of leaders in both academia and industry is at the heart of what higher education is all about. As such, teaching and learning environments which support this goal are imperative for success. However, in the US, while many faculty are dedicated to becoming outstanding educators, the general assumption is that holding a PhD in a core technical area is sufficient to be qualified as a college or university educator. Unfortunately, the evidence for this automatic link between research skills and teaching skills is weak at best 1. The idea that a teaching and research nexus naturally exists within higher education today no longer holds true (and maybe never did). Therefore, actions
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