At the AISHE conference it became clear that higher standards of teaching are being widely called for across Ireland, the THES front page this week echos the same in the UK. In my experience, largely this call for standards is taken with enthusiasm, though with a touch of concern about increased hoop jumping and micro management. The call for excellence in teaching is matched by a show of excellent examples of good practice on show at conferences around the UK and beyond, with experimental uses of problem based learning, inquiry led learning and peer led learning. HE currently has some excellent work going on in developing pedagogy and improving teaching, I would hope through open mindedness, dissemination and a motivation to improve as a free profession excellence can be widely achieved alongside diversity without over regulation. A willingness to share and to listen to each other is needed. We need to talk. A culture of collaboration, cross-professionalism and a shared vision to create vibrant learning is also necessary. Whilst channels for training are critical for academic staff, I hope the academic community can pull together to answer the call for better teaching and learning without heavy handed intervention. Having recently undertaken the Higher Education Academy’s Fellowship accreditation scheme I would applaud the scheme as one way of encouraging individual professionals in HE to focus upon teaching and learning whilst allowing for individuality. Whatever is done over the coming years to address I very much hope it is not over-regulation any compulsory training to standardise.
Just like all communities, talking, sharing and listening is surely the way to go 🙂