ERIC Number: ED407919
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Teaching in a Research University: Professors' Conceptions, Practices, and Disciplinary Differences.
This study surveyed faculty at an elite private research (Ivy League) university on their attitudes toward teaching and their teaching practices. A total of 115 faculty from several schools within the university completed a 68-item questionnaire on how they learned to teach, what motivated them to invest time and effort in their teaching, what were their conceptions of the goals of undergraduate instruction in their respective departments, what teaching methods they used, and what were their perceptions of the material they taught. The large majority of faculty reported that they did not receive any orderly, systematic preparation for university teaching, with the primary source of their pedagogical knowledge being their own classroom experiences as teachers. Internal satisfaction and positive student feedback were the prime motivators for investment in teaching, and most respondents used the lecture method of instruction. Providing students with current domain-related knowledge was not highly rated as a goal. Faculty in mathematics, the sciences, and engineering reported more departmental emphasis on teaching than faculty from education, the humanities, and social sciences, and also reported more use of problem-solving and writing on overhead projectors or blackboards in the classroom. (Contains 36 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: College Faculty, College Instruction, Educational Attitudes, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Humanities Instruction, Intellectual Disciplines, Mathematics Instruction, Research Universities, Science Instruction, Social Sciences, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education, Teacher Motivation
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).