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Investigating Swedish Teacher's Approaches to Their Teaching Practice

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Research Informing Teaching Practice II

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.855.1 - 25.855.16



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Paper Authors


Arnold Neville Pears Uppsala University Orcid 16x16

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Arnold Pears received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and was a Senior Lecturer there1991 to 1998, before moving to Uppsala University, Sweden, to take a position there as Senior Lecturer in 1999, where he has remained. Pears is Associate Professor in computing education research at Uppsala University, and has a strong interest in teaching and learning research in computer
science and engineering. He has published more than 25 reviewed articles in international journals in the area and is well known as a computing education researcher through his professional activities in the ACM, and IEEE. His recent articles include discussions of quality in computer science
education, "Does Quality Assurance Enhance the Quality of Computing Education?" in Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Computer Science Education Conference, 2010, and models for research driven education in computing, "Conveying Conceptions of Quality through Instruction," in the Seventh International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology, 2010. He is a Director of CeTUSS (The Swedish National Center for Pedagogical Development of Technology Education in a Societal and
Student Oriented Context, and a Reviewer for
Computer Science Education Journal, and the ACM SIGCSE and ITiCSE and Koli Calling International Computer Science Education conferences. Pears is currently Steering Committee Chairman of the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, and has served as Programme Chair for several other
international conferences.

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Judy Sheard Monash University

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Judy Sheard is an Associate Professor in the faculty of information technology, Monash University. She has had leadership roles both nationally and internationally in the computing education research community. Sheard’s main research interests are in student learning behavior and in exploring the web as a new educational medium. She has extensive experience in computing education related projects including several nationally funded projects. Sheard has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on IT education and educational technology. She has given three keynote addresses and several invited talks at conferences internationally on computing education topics. Sheard is Co-director of the Computing Education Research Group (CERG) at Monash and immediate Past Chair of the Australasian Chapter of the ACM special interest group in computing education (SIGCSE). She was Programme Chair for the Fourth Australasian Computing Education conference (2000), Co-leader of an ITiCSE 2003 international working group, and Co-organiser of doctoral consortia in 2009, 2011, and 2012. Sheard has more than 22 years experience in teaching programming to undergraduate and post-graduate students. She was awarded the Monash Vice Chancellor's Award for Team-based Educational Development (2002) and School of Computer Science and Software Engineering Excellence Awards (2002 and 2003).

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Investigating Swedish Teacher’s Approaches to their Teaching Practice Anonymous review version October 6, 2011 The importance of educational quality, and a need to enhance capacityfor scholarship in teaching and learning among academics has increased inglobal importance following the publication of Boyer’s book ”The prioritiesof the Professoriate” in 1990. His description of a fourth scholarship dealingwith teaching and inspiring learners to engage in the discipline sparked aworldwide interest in enhancing higher education quality through staff de-velopment, and staff involvement in applied education theory across all dis-ciplines. In Sweden initiatives lead by the Higher Education Department haveincreased interest by University management in systematic assessment of ed-ucational quality. At Uppsala University these trends are addressed by estab-lishing a univeristy wide educational quality initiative (Pedagogiska Program-met). As a part of its response to this general plan for further developmentof educational quality at Uppsala University, the Faculty of Technology andNatural Sciences established a higher education development and advisorybody ”TUR” in 2008. An inventory of existing practices and attitudes toeducation among academic staff was identified as a priority area in the threeyear action plan for TUR approved in 2009. This report develops and analyses the reliability and validity of a Swedishtranslation of the Trigwell and Prosser Approaches to Teaching Inventory(ATI) using data collected from academics in the Faculty of Technology andNatural Sciences at Uppsala University Sweden. The Approaches to TeachingInventory is an instrument developed by Prosser and Trigwell to provide in-sight into how University teaching staff view teaching and learning activitiesassociated with their role at the University. 1 The first part of the report describes the development and validation ofa Swedish translation of the ATI. The Swedish instrument structure is anal-ysed using factor analysis and a two factor model derived that confirms thestructure reported earlier by Prosser and Trigwell. The constructs proposedby Prosser and Trigwell are also tested by computing cronbach alphas. We then stratify the data and perform statistical comparisons to iden-tify statistically significant differences in the subscales of the ATI based ongender, age, role in the organisation, and participation in courses in the-ory and practice of higher education. The paper summarises the analysis ofdata collected from 521 academics in the Faculty of Science and Technology,identifying trends in approach and attitude to teaching and learning. The analysis presents overall indicators derived from the ATI instrument,as well as identifying statistically significant differences. The dependent vari-ables studied include age, gender, participation in courses in higher educationtheory, and function within the organisation. We identify a strong studentcentric approach across the entire Faculty of Science and Technology, how-ever, there is also a strong focus on teaching for assessment which we believeis linked to the recent emphasis on learning outcomes and examination ofstudent-centric learning outcomes emphasised by the Bologna system. The paper is structured as follows. Development of the Swedish versionof the ATI is described. This is followed by a summary of the study methodand data collection process. The results of confirmatory factor analysis andreliability measures, including computation of Cronbach’s alpha for relevantstatistical constructs, are then presented and discussed. An analysis of vari-ations in approach to teaching on the basis of a range of key variables arepresented and discussed. Finally we provide conclusions and areas for futureexploration. 2

Pears, A. N., & Sheard, J. (2012, June), Investigating Swedish Teacher's Approaches to Their Teaching Practice Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21612

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