Up close and pedagogical: Computing academics talk about teaching

Publisher:
AustralianCompter Society Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Computer Science Communications, 2006, 28 (5), pp. 125 - 134
Issue Date:
2006-01
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This paper describes and enacts a process for bootstrapping a more systematic discussion of computing education within a school of computing at a research-intensive Australasian university. Thus far, the project has gone through three stages. In the first stage, some academics were interviewed about their approach to teaching. In the second stage, selected anonymous quotes from the interviews were presented and discussed by other interested members of the school at workshops. In the final stage, selected anonymous quotes from the interviews and workshops were placed on a web-based survey, to which interested members of the school responded. These forms of data will be used to drive further stages of debate within the school. The theoretical underpinnings of this project are Wenger's concept of a community of practice, phenomenography, and socially constructivism. The aim is not to instruct the academics in any "right way" to teach. Instead, the aim is to facilitate debate, where the teachers identify the problems, and in finding the solutions they construct their own "pedagogic reality". As facilitators of this process, the authors of this paper highlighted dialectically opposed views in quotes from the teachers, and then allow the teachers to synthesise those views into a more sophisticated view. Our ultimate project aim is to grow a teaching community that balances reified theories of teaching and learning with participation in a community of practice.
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