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ERIC Number: EJ896004
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0633
Charting Pathways into the Field of Educational Development
McDonald, Jeanette
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n122 p37-45 Sum 2010
Educational (academic/faculty) development is a scholarly field of study and practice that evolved from an informal set of instructional improvement activities aimed at individuals, to a broad range of services, programs, and initiatives offered at the individual, departmental, and institutional levels within post-secondary education. During its fifty-year history, the field has matured and the professional role of educational developers has moved from the periphery to the mainstream of colleges and universities. At the heart of these activities is a shared value of enhancing teaching and learning, and ultimately the educational experiences of students. Over time, the growth of the field has been documented both in the literature and at professional conferences and organizational meetings internationally. One area that has started to receive greater attention in the last decade is the study of educational developers themselves, specifically, the manner by which they learn about, enter into, and progress within the field. Educational developers today make up a richly diverse, eclectic community of practitioners. They have diverse educational backgrounds and disciplinary allegiances, appointment types, positional responsibilities, orientations to practice, institutional values and local contexts, career motivations, and of course pathways to the profession. Their diversity can be attributed in part to the absence of a formalized career path to profile and shape entry to and advancement within the field--what Lynn McAlpine (2006) calls "academic structures" (for example, education credentials and an accrediting body). This article offers a snapshot of developer pathways from a Canadian university perspective drawing on one-on-one interviews with educational developers who, at the time of their interview, were: (1) formally connected to a center; and (2) actively engaged in development activities at various levels, with a range of audiences, in a variety of capacities (consultant, facilitator, designer), and for different purposes (policy development, curriculum design).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada