Friday, April 08, 2011

Professional in higher education

Greetings from the Australian National University, Professor John Dearn is discussing "Scholar or professional? The changing role of the teacher in higher education". This is timely as Professions Australia and Universities Australia are holding a Workshop on "Higher Education and the Professions in 2011 and Beyond", in Canberra today. The ACS has gone into this in detail with research on ethics and professionalism with quantitative research and international collaboration.

It seems to me desirable that those who teach at universities should have some level of professionalism, as school and TAFE teachers do. However, because higher education teaches adults and also teaches new knowledge, there may be an argument that a more open approach can be taken.

In the terms of Warren Piper's criteria in "Are Professors Professional?", which John Dearn cited, university academics are only part time teachers and are not professionals. This is not to demean them, they are probably professionals in another profession (as an example I am an ICT professional who also does some teaching).

Also I find of interest "Developing a supportive culture for teaching and learning : a university, faculty and school perspective", Roberts, Carole, Anderson, Lisa, Betts, Martin, & Oakey, Dorothy (2002).

The next education workshop is 15 April 2011 on "Using role plays in face-to-face and on-line teaching". Those wishing to explore this topic may find "The Power of Role-based e-Learning", by Professor Sandra Wills of interest.

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