From Bioscience to Pedagogy: a transition in progress?. Nicholas Freestone. HEA STEM Conference, 2014. A transition? Do we need to change?. What does the future hold for the biological sciences HE practitioner?. We exist in “desperate hope and desperate fear” Professor David Watson, 2014.
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HEA STEM Conference, 2014
What does the future hold for the biological sciences HE practitioner?
We exist in “desperate hope and desperate fear” Professor David Watson, 2014
We are expected to be many (contradictory?) things simultaneously.
The Willetts Report for the Social Market Foundation: Robbins Revisited: Bigger and Better Higher Education (sic?)
Teaching quality was one of Robbins’ major concerns as it is for Willetts.
Willetts: “strengthen the incentives to focus on teaching” as the pendulum has swung too far in favour of rewarding excellence in research.
To counterbalance the historic fall in spend per student Willetts says funding is now intended to follow the student.
KIS data sets give students ability to make informed choices.
The teaching:research split for the universities that existed when Robbins reported is now around 40:60 (from 55:45). The ratio in the former polytechnics and FE colleges is 89:11
We need to develop a “sense of professional obligation” towards our teaching.
How might such “professionalism” be demonstrated and practised?
My personal journey (even in a post-1992 institution more obviously wedded to the primacy of HE teaching) has confronted such dilemmas.
“for public theory to influence educational practice it must be translated through the personal”. Bullough and Pinnegar, 2001
Tentative first steps…………
Engaging in pedagogical research – action research as part of PGCHE
Gaining a University Teaching Fellowship for a pedagogical research project.
Enrolling on an EdD programme
Engaging with the HEA disciplinary groupings in the biological sciences
Generating data, presenting at conferences and writing pedagogical papers and grants.
Light at the end of the tunnel?........ networking……
Getting external validation by applying to the HEA for Fellow/Senior Fellow/Principal Fellow status.
Applying for promotion on the basis of learning and teaching expertise.
Potential Barriers to Transition networking……
Lack of underpinning theoretical knowledge
Lack of expertise in different research methodologies
Setting yourself up as an expert amongst (sceptical) colleagues
Uncertain career path
Losing expertise and credibility in your home discipline