Being a Teacher in Higher Education

By Peter T. Knight | Go to book overview

12
Change, experiencing change
and making change happen

A stance
Governments and higher education institutions publicly value teaching more than ever before. They insist that new faculty members have some teacher training, invest in teacher development, finance teaching improvement projects, give teaching performance indicators more respect than they deserve, take course and programme approval too seriously and keep trying to freeze artful practice with documentary demands. Professor John Cowan wrote me a letter in which he took a positive stance towards the revaluation of teaching: 'I wish I were 15 years younger, and more able to move into mid-career at a time when teaching in higher education is more and more challenging, more and more rewarding, more and more valued. Maybe the situation is not yet ideal, but it has greatly improved and it is still improving.' Others are less positive about the changes, although I think that John is right to appreciate the positives. My stance has two sides. The first is that we gain by understanding change forces because change will continue to happen, and our success as teachers and as academics will be related to how we manage to experience it. The second is that structural changes, such as the spread of quality assurance practices, will affect but do not dictate our professional identities. We need to beware of imagining that we are forced to do things when choice is actually possible. That is not to say that it is easy to choose to do things we value in the ways we enjoy, but choosing depends on recognizing that choice is possible.
Key points
1. Change gets changed by people as they participate in making it happen. Change may have its victims but many changes have also been the victims of those they have been intended to change.

-189-

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Being a Teacher in Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Part 1 - People, Times and Places 1
  • 1: Being at Work in Higher Education 3
  • 2: Learning Teachers, Learning Students 22
  • 3: Being a New Teacher 37
  • 4: Feeling Motivated 54
  • 5: Maintaining Teaching Vitality 72
  • 6: Part-Time Teaching 86
  • Part 2 - Teaching Practices 99
  • 7: Instruction 104
  • 8: Learning Tasks 124
  • 9: Creating Feedback 143
  • 10: Designing for Learning 160
  • 11: Getting Good Evaluations 178
  • Part 3 - Times of Change 187
  • 12: Change, Experiencing Change and Making Change Happen 189
  • 13: Managing Your Career 199
  • 14: Being a Teacher in Higher Education 215
  • References 220
  • Index 233
  • The Society for Research into Higher Education 246
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