Variation in patterns of teacher development and change: Connections with the development of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching

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Conference Proceeding
Enhancing Higher Education: Proceedings of the 30th annual HERDSA conference [CD-ROM], 2007, pp. 389 - 397
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Scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching are associated with student-focused conceptions of teaching, both explicitly by some writers, and implicitly in their focus on engaging with students and investigating relations between teaching and student learning. This paper focuses on the extent to which development and change in conceptions of teaching relate to the development of the attributes of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching. The paper is based on a longitudinal study of 27 university teachers. Four patterns describing development or change in teachers conceptions of teaching over time are described, varying from remaining teacher focused with teaching-focused ways of experiencing change in teaching to becoming or remaining student-focused with a student learning and teacher-understanding focused way of experiencing change in teaching. In the two patterns in which teachers remained teacher focused, there was little evidence of the attributes of scholarly teaching. Teachers reflected on and changed their content or strategies and developed selective knowledge of teaching but did not reflect on or investigate the relations between their teaching and students learning. By contrast, in the two patterns in which teachers became or remained student focused in their teaching situations, teachers described many of the features of scholarly teaching: pedagogic content knowledge, investigating and reflecting on connections between teaching and their students learning, learning from students and seeking to communicate with peers, either informally or through publication. The paper concludes that a focus on learning from students might be not just a feature of scholarly teaching but critical for its development.
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