Academic professional development practice: What lecturers find valuable

  • Ferman T
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In an increasingly challenging tertiary environment where academics need more than ever to be skilled across a range of areas, including that of teaching, understanding what constitutes effective professional development is crucial. This paper reports on what a group of lecturers at an Australian university find valuable in developing their professional expertise by means of work-embedded events and activities. It was considered important to probe lecturers under- standings in line with constructivist approaches that encourage the involvement of participants in the learning or devel- opment process. Particularly where participants are highly educated and self-aware, drawing out their knowledge and practice seems a fruitful way of informing approaches to professional development. The study revealed that lecturers found a wide range of strategies useful in developing their professional expertise, with a predominance of those strate- gies being collaborative in nature. The paper suggests some practical ways in which universities can support profes- sional development activities which lecturers identify as valuable.

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  • Terrie Ferman

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