Sessional Teacher Training and Changing the Culture of Teaching in Science

Dalton, H., Whitaker, N., Rifkin, W. and Koford, M. (2007) Sessional Teacher Training and Changing the Culture of Teaching in Science. UNSW Compendium of Good Practice in Learning and Teaching, Issue 4: 73-92.

Author Dalton, H.
Whitaker, N.
Rifkin, W.
Koford, M.
Title Sessional Teacher Training and Changing the Culture of Teaching in Science
Journal name UNSW Compendium of Good Practice in Learning and Teaching
ISSN 1449-7166
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Other
Issue Issue 4
Start page 73
End page 92
Total pages 20
Place of publication Sydney, NSW Australia
Publisher University of New South Wales * Learning and Teaching
Collection year 2007
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Training for sessional teachers in the University of New South Wales Faculty of Science has progressed since 2004 from needs assessment and initial development, through implementation, and into several improvement cycles. A particular challenge in this process has been the culture of teaching in science, which includes a tradition of didactic delivery, hesitance among sessional teachers about the effectiveness of student-centred teaching methods and pressure for post-graduate sessional teachers to complete their research rather than engage in unpaid training. Despite these issues, the program was established and continues because so much of the faculty's teaching is undertaken by tutors and demonstrators. A quarter of the faculty's 400-plus tutors and demonstrators have now progressed through the program, with feedback indicating that they have gained insight, ability and confidence. In this paper the authors provide information on the faculty's sessional teacher training program, with particular attention to the way its impact has increased in quality and quantity, thanks to support from heads of school and course convenors, recommendations from previous participants, a shift in learning and teaching culture in the faculty because of several parallel initiatives, and support and facilitation undertaken by the faculty's four-member EdSquad. Particular learning and homework activities, such as peer observation, are also described. The case study concludes with reflections of potential value to readers who wish to establish a sessional teacher training program, particularly in relation to ongoing improvement in timing and content of workshops as well as the provision of resources and ongoing development of and support for sessional teaching staff
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Other
Collection: Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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