The Senses Framework: Understanding the Professional Development of Postgraduates Who Teach
Keywords:sessional tutors, postgraduates who teach, professional development, senses framework, arts-based research
The aim of this research project was to deepen our understanding of the professional development of postgraduates who teach (tutors). Using arts-based methods, we asked postgraduate tutors and senior staff how they saw tutors’ roles and development needs. Based on our research outcomes, we found that both postgraduate tutors and senior staff were concerned in their different ways about a lack of community, the administrative burden on tutors, the importance of enjoyment, how tutoring should be recognised and valued, and the question of training versus development. We make use of a framework borrowed from gerontological nursing for thinking about and addressing these issues in practice.
Note: In this paper, ‘tutor’ refers to the part-time, adjunct, assistant, sessional or casual staff who make a significant contribution to small and large-group teaching, assessment and feedback in higher education. We are particularly concerned here with postgraduates who teach; ‘senior staff’ refers to a variety of colleagues who have some responsibility for supporting tutor development, including course organisers, senior tutors and administrative staff.
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