Developing a supportive culture for teaching and learning : a university, faculty and school perspective

Roberts, Carole, Anderson, Lisa, Betts, Martin, & Oakey, Dorothy (2002) Developing a supportive culture for teaching and learning : a university, faculty and school perspective. In Business, Management and Accountancy Education, April 2002, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)


In the early 1990's the University of Salford was typical of most pre-1992 Universities in that whilst students provided much of it's income, little attention was paid to pedagogy. As Warren Piper (1994) observed, University teachers were professional in their subject areas but generally did not seek to acquire a pedagogy of HE. This was the case in Alsford. Courses were efficiently run but only a minority of staff were engaged in actively considering learning and teaching issues. Instead staff time was spent on research and commercial activity.-----

In the mid-1990's the teaching environment began to change significantly. As well as Dearing, the advent of QAA and teaching quality reviews, Salford was already experiencing changes in the characteristics of its student body. Wideing access was on our agenda before it was so predominant nationally. With increasing numbers and heterogeneity of students as well as these external factors, new challenges were facing the University and teaching domain.-----

This paper describes how a culture which values teaching, learning and pedagogic inquiry is being created in the university. It then focuses on parts of this process specific to the Faculty of Business and Informatics, namely the Faculty's Learning and Teaching Research Network and the establishment of the Centre for Construction Education in the School of Construction and Property Management.-----

The Faculty of Business and Informatics' Learning and Teaching Research Network aims to raise the profile, quality and volume of pedagogic research across the five schools in the faculty. The initiative is targeted at all academics regardless of previous research experience. We hope to grow and nurture research potential where it exists and to acknowledge and use the existing expertise of subject-based researchers in collaborative ventures. We work on the principle that people are deliged to share what they know but need appreciation and feedback for doing so. A further ain is to surface and celebrate the significant amount of tacit knowledge in the area of pedagogy evidenced by the strength of student and employer feedback in many areas of the faculty's teaching.-----

The Faculty embraces generic and core management expertise but also includes applied management disciplines in information systems and construction and property management where internationally leading research activities and networked centres of excellence have been established. Drawing from this experience, and within the context of the Faculty network, a Centre for Construction Education is being established with key international external partners to develop a sustainable business model of an enterprising pedagogic centre that can undertake useful research to underpin teaching in the Faculty whilst offering sustainable business services to allow it to benefit from pump-priming grant funding.-----

Internal and external networking are important elements in our plans and ongoing work. Key to this are our links with the LTSN subject centres (BEST and CEBE) and the LTSN generic centre. The paper discusses networking as a concept and gives examples of practices which have proved useful in this context.-----

The academic influences on our approach are also examined. Dixon’s (2000) work examining how a range of companies succeed through internal knowledge sharing has provided a range of transferable practices. We also examine the notion of dialogue in this context, defined by Ballantyne (1999) as ‘The interactive human process of reasoning together which comes into being through interactions based on spontaneity or need and is enabled by trust’ Social constructionist principles of Practical Authorship (Shotter, 1993, Pavlica, Holman and Thorpe, 1998)) have also proved useful in developing our perspective on learning and knowledge creation within our community of practice.

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ID Code: 25814
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Deposited On: 22 Jun 2009 04:53
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:06

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