Tertiary Teachers Learning About Teaching: Integrating Theoretical and Practical Knowledge

Sarah Stein, Rebecca Walker

Abstract


This paper reports an investigation into the knowledge development of a group of tertiary teachers who participated in a postgraduate course on teaching and learning. Through interviews of participants, observations of participants’ teaching, and an examination of the course and its implementation, it was shown that the course served primarily to affirm participants’ current knowledge about teaching, and to extend their ability to articulate ‘why they do what they do’. However, evidence showed that the course did not necessarily enhance participants’ ability to translate theoretical knowledge into practical knowledge.

The study highlighted the necessity to acknowledge the practicality of teaching as core to the nature of learning about teaching and led to implications about the content and processes of such courses and their application within professional development experiences for tertiary teachers.

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