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ERIC Number: ED528849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 165
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-4958-0
In Their Own Voices: Faculty Developers' Perceptions of Their Professional Identity and Knowledge Acquisition Strategies
Shaffer, Christine E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
As colleges and universities increase the focus on student learning, faculty development has taken a more prominent role in higher education (Barr & Tagg, 1995; Fink, 2003; Lieberman & Guskin, 2002). While a significant body of work on the practice of faculty development exists, research on faculty developers as professionals is limited. Several researchers have reported demographic information (Frasier, 1999; Frasier, 2001; Eddy & Beach, 2005; Sorcinelli, Austin, Eddy, & Beach, 2005) and others have discussed the nature of the profession (Andresen, 1996; Bath & Smith, 2004; Harland & Staniforth, 2003; Manathunga, 2006; Manathunga, 2007); however, few have explored the profession from the perspective of faculty developers themselves. Even fewer studies of faculty developers in the community college exist. Specifically, this study begins to address the questions of how community college faculty developers describe their professional identity and how they continue to gain professional knowledge at different stages of their careers. Using portraiture methodology and the Dreyfus Model of Skill Development as a framework, this study presents the stories of four community college faculty developers who have between 15 months and 27 years of experience. An analysis of their stories revealed that these faculty developers have a varied view of themselves as professionals: faculty colleague, faculty and faculty development advocate, and academic-administrative bridge. Furthermore, they engaged in a mixture of different strategies to carry out their responsibilities: obtaining advice from peers, applying of experience from previous positions, and placing their work within a larger framework of goals. Faculty developers recognized significant differences between themselves and both administrative and academic members of the higher education community. This suggests that they have a unique identity not addressed by traditional categories of higher education professions. Additionally, faculty developers, regardless of years of experience in the field, function at higher stages of the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition and, as a result, employ similar tactics at the higher to expand their knowledge. Recommendations for practice based on this research are focused on the preparation and support of future and current faculty developers for their ambiguous roles and need to function within the political atmosphere of higher education institutions. Professional development efforts should focus on strategies appropriate for those functioning at the proficient and expert levels (Daley, 1999; 2001). [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; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A