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    Being a Professional Lecturer: Framing Professional Learning within and beyond an initial accredited programme in Teaching and Learning in an Irish Institute of Technology


    Hanratty, Orla (2018) Being a Professional Lecturer: Framing Professional Learning within and beyond an initial accredited programme in Teaching and Learning in an Irish Institute of Technology. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this research was to explore and explain lecturers’ views on what informs and influences their professional learning in relation to the teaching aspect of their role in higher education. Current policy at a national and international level was reviewed along with insights from existing research on drivers for professional learning in relation to teaching. Activity theory (Engeström, 2001) was used as the theoretical framework to inform and explore understandings and accounts of professional learning. It is a socio-cultural research design with philosophical underpinnings. An institutional case study was carried out during the calendar year of 2015. Data collection methods were an online questionnaire to all lecturers who are graduates of the institution’s postgraduate programmes in teaching followed by semi-structured interviews with 16 lecturers. Findings have resulted in a new understanding of lecturers’ experiences of professional learning within and beyond accredited programmes. Themes identified included the discourse around professionalism in relation to the teaching role, the lecturers’ orientations to professional learning and the influence of communities. Key findings included the value of authentic learning experiences within accredited programmes supported the continuing engagement in professional learning. The use of activity theory as a framework to analysis the findings provided a valuable insight into the contextual factors which may enable or constrain professional learning within and beyond accredited programmes. The existence of institutional policies was a strong influencing factor on many lecturers’ initial engagement in accredited learning. Structural constructs such as heavy teaching loads constrained many lecturers in continuing to engage in professional learning. Recommendations for educational developers working in an institutional context were identified to further support lecturers’ professional learning in relation to teaching in higher education.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Professional Lecturer; Professional Learning; accredited programme; Teaching and Learning; Irish Institute of Technology;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 12112
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 15:09
    URI:

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