ERIC Number: EJ896002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 25
Pathways toward Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: International Context and Background
Lewis, Karron G.
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n122 p13-23 Sum 2010
Improving teaching and learning in higher education became an important international endeavor in the 1960s and 1970s, corresponding to an influx of students coming in greater numbers than ever seen before, from a broader range of backgrounds, and with diverse expectations for attending colleges and universities. These same students were also more politically mindful and active as they began to demand "the right to exercise some control over the quality of their undergraduate learning experience, by such means as evaluating their teachers' performance in the classroom." Sit-ins and student protests over "irrelevant courses and uninspired teaching" challenged postsecondary institutions to modify traditional ways of teaching. No longer was a thorough knowledge of the subject matter enough to teach effectively in higher education. Concurrently, economic conditions made it difficult for colleges and universities to hire unlimited numbers of faculty or to "buy" sought-after faculty from other institutions. Thus faculty members stayed in one place longer, increasingly relying on their institution to support their professional and personal growth. Fortunately institutional champions of teaching and learning (teachers, researchers, administrators, technicians) saw the need for this kind of support on their campuses. People are drawn to the field of improving teaching and learning in higher education from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. In this article, the author delves into the history, international variations, and similarities of the field of faculty/educational/academic development to provide a context for what has happened to make this field important to the vitality of teaching and learning in higher education all over the world.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Learning Experience, Teaching Methods, Faculty Development, International Education, Instructional Improvement, Professional Development, Financial Support, Teacher Centers, Teacher Education Programs, Program Termination, Educational History, Educational Development, International Organizations, Vocabulary
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A