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ERIC Number: ED533892
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-3612-3
Faculty Development Units at Mexican Higher Education Institutions: A Descriptive Study of Characteristics, Common Practices and Challenges
Chavela Guerra, Rocio del Carmen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
The rapid expansion in higher education in the 1960s and early 1970s brought a reexamination of university teaching and learning, placing significant attention on the role of faculty development. The steady growth of this field has been reflected in the establishment of centers, offices, and divisions at many colleges and universities that are in charge of the design, implementation, and evaluation of faculty development programs. Reflecting different traditions within institutions and between countries, these special units exist under a variety of names (e.g., teaching and learning centers, educational development units, institutes for academic excellence). Starting in the 1960s, several nationwide empirical studies have been conducted to characterize the practices of these units in the United States and, to a lesser extent, in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Mexico. In order to provide up-to-date information about the work of faculty development units (FDUs) to different Mexican stakeholders (e.g., faculty developers, institution administrators, and policymakers), this study targeted the leaders of FDUs at 220 higher education institutions affiliated with the Mexican National Association of Engineering Schools (ANFEI). A pragmatist worldview guided the design of the two-phase study. In phase I, FDU leaders' contact information was collected through an analysis of institutions' websites and a survey of institutions' ANFEI representatives. Information about the FDUs was gathered in phase II through a Web questionnaire that explored FDU leaders' profiles; FDUs' goals, services, evaluation practices, influences and challenges; and potential new directions for the field of faculty development in Mexico. The instrument was developed based on a questionnaire identified in the literature that was translated into Spanish and adapted to the Mexican context with the help of three experienced Mexican faculty developers. The survey yielded 47 suitable responses from a variety of institution types and geographic regions across Mexico. Participants' responses reveal that faculty development practices in Mexico are highly influenced by federal policies aimed at improving the academic profile of Mexican faculty. Salient responses also indicate that Mexican FDUs face several challenges such as providing adequate discipline-based and teaching development opportunities for faculty; providing support to faculty on the diverse roles they have to meet; guaranteeing that the faculty development programs are relevant and at the forefront of educational innovation; contributing to the overall academic quality of higher education institutions; and securing sufficient funding and resources. Results from this study suggest that faculty development as a field and as a profession in Mexico is still emerging. Mexican faculty development leaders could benefit from the lessons learned by a number of international faculty development organizations that have arisen in the last decades and from the expertise they share through specialized venues such as journals and conferences. As engineering education is also emerging as a recognized scholarly field in Mexico, there is a potential for establishing strategic partnerships between these two groups of professionals to catalyze the development and diffusion of educational innovations in Mexican engineering schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; Mexico; South Africa; United Kingdom; United States