Sharing Distinctive Vocational Cultural Practices to Review Teaching and Learning Strategies Across CBHE: a Case Study
Keywords:College-based Higher Education, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, vocational culture, peer observation, graduate employability
Boyer (1990) suggests that in considering the concept of scholarship we take note of four distinct aspects, including that of teaching. His model offers a framework for the comparison of specific pedagogical practice and is employed for that purpose in this paper. College-based Higher Education (CBHE) is dominated by a number of vocational and professional curriculum areas. These professions each have their own distinct culture and ethos. This may be evident in interpersonal relationships, dress codes or the patterns and hours of work. There is a potential clash between establishing a cross-college consistency of good practice and respecting the traditions of distinct workplace environments. This case study draws on a number of sources to explore subject-specific approaches to, and understandings of, teaching and learning. It starts with outcomes recorded at a staff conference. These findings were taken further in peer observations shared with the CBHE teaching teams at a meeting of the HE practitioners’ forum and developed in focus groups. Fifteen colleagues from disciplines including art and design, construction and engineering, social work, childhood studies and education contributed. Finally all those engaged in CBHE, around 80 members of staff, had the opportunity to read and comment on an initial draft of this case study. Written feedback was received from ten colleagues and some of that feedback is included here.This case study reviews some specific aspects of teaching and learning practice. What is meant and understood by the task of writing, being evaluative or critical and the process of reflection are tentatively explored. There is evidence to support the view that discipline- or curriculum-specific understandings of key concepts in teaching and learning exist. It is suggested that further consideration should be given to the origin of these differences and their possible impact on graduate employability.
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