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Pioneering a new career pathway in education and scholarship

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posted on 2023-06-10, 00:29 authored by Susan Smith, David Walker
As higher education practices come under increased scrutiny from students, regulators, media and the public, the development of a culture of scholarship and continuing professional development in teaching and learning is imperative if universities are to address the many current and emerging challenges they face (Myatt et al., 2018). Despite Boyer’s work on the integration and interaction of the different forms of scholarship thirty years ago (Boyer, 1990), reward and promotion structures within Universities have been slow to respond, continuing to emphasise the development of an individual’s research profile with their development as an educator often a secondary concern. In part this can be attributed to vagueness around definition and measurement of what constitutes scholarship (Kern et al., 2015). However it is also a factor of cultural inertia across the higher education (HE) sector and a failure of institutional policies to rebalance opportunity, career progression and security when it comes to teaching and research (Cashmore, Cane and Cane, 2013). To address this gap, and to seek to establish parity of opportunity and esteem with research, new teaching and scholarship career paths are emerging. Whilst, originally, teaching focused colleagues were engaged to address unexpected growth in student numbers (Smith and Urquhart, 2018) there is an increasing realisation that those who pursue this route are often experts in teaching and learning within their subject area. However, despite the increasing prevalence of such career paths there is often little structured support to encourage development in teaching, learning and scholarship in this area, combined with a lack of clarity of the evidence required for the purposes of promotion (Crow et al., 2018; Magin, 1998). This article explores some of the challenges in engaging faculty with teaching and learning using our own experiences of leading the launch of a new career track in education and scholarship and asks how we can work towards a culture of continuous professional development in this area for all staff involved in teaching and supporting learning.


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Educational Developments


Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA)





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