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Influencing teaching and learning microcultures. Academic development in a research-intensive university.

Mårtensson, Katarina LU (2014)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Alltsedan expansionen av den högre utbildningen tog fart i Sverige, i slutet av 60-talet, har universitet och högskolor arbetat för att utveckla utbildningskvaliteten. Detta har bland annat gjorts genom satsningar på policys som reglerar exempelvis arbete med kursvärderingar, mångfald, och kurs- och utbildningsplaner. Satsningar har också gjorts på pedagogisk utbildning av universitetslärare och forskare, och på pedagogiska utvecklingsprojekt som ofta drivits av eldsjälar. Många universitet och högskolor har anställt pedagogiska utvecklare och skapat särskilda enheter för att underlätta och driva på utvecklingsarbetet. Den sammantagna effekten av dessa olika satsningar är dock oklar. Många av dem... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Alltsedan expansionen av den högre utbildningen tog fart i Sverige, i slutet av 60-talet, har universitet och högskolor arbetat för att utveckla utbildningskvaliteten. Detta har bland annat gjorts genom satsningar på policys som reglerar exempelvis arbete med kursvärderingar, mångfald, och kurs- och utbildningsplaner. Satsningar har också gjorts på pedagogisk utbildning av universitetslärare och forskare, och på pedagogiska utvecklingsprojekt som ofta drivits av eldsjälar. Många universitet och högskolor har anställt pedagogiska utvecklare och skapat särskilda enheter för att underlätta och driva på utvecklingsarbetet. Den sammantagna effekten av dessa olika satsningar är dock oklar. Många av dem är antingen alltför toppstyrda, eller i alltför hög grad individfokuserade.



Denna avhandling fokuserar pedagogiskt utvecklingsarbete i högre utbildning, i gränssnittet mellan övergripande policynivå och individnivå, den organisatoriska så kallade meso-nivån. Närmare bestämt studeras med kvalitativa metoder hur universitetslärare i en forskningsintensiv miljö (Lunds universitet) påverkas av sina närmaste kollegor och ledare i sitt sätt att tänka om och bedriva undervisning och utbildningsutveckling.



I avhandlingen undersöks vem lärare vänder sig till för att prova nya idéer i undervisningen och för att bearbeta och hitta lösningar på pedagogiska utmaningar. Det framkommer att lärarna förlitar sig på ett litet antal betrodda personer, ett så kallat signifikant nätverk, som både kan utgöras av kollegor och av personer helt utanför den egna lokala organisationen. Med hjälp av teorier om sociala nätverk, organisationsutveckling och ledarskap visas också i avhandlingen att pedagogiskt utvecklingsarbete har stor potential att bidra till organisationsutveckling. Detta förutsätter ett fokus på de enskilda lärarna, inte bara som individer utan också som en del av ett kollegialt socialt sammanhang, så kallade mikrokulturer, på den organisatoriska meso-nivån.



För att pedagogiskt utvecklingsarbete ska vara hållbart och kunna bidra till organisatorisk utveckling behöver interaktioner gällande lärande och undervisning inom mikrokulturerna vara starka, liksom interaktioner mellan olika mikrokulturer. Detta kan ske exempelvis genom mötesplatser och forum för diskussion och erfarenhetsutbyte, men också med hjälp av dokumenterade, underbyggda reflektioner kring undervisningsfrågor. Det sistnämnda bygger på ett synsätt på akademisk kompetens som internationellt kommit att kallas scholarship of teaching and learning, vilket innebär ett vetenskapligt förhållningssätt till undervisning och lärande. Förutom att bidra till lokalt skapad kunskap så kan sådana dokumenterade underbyggda reflektioner om undervisning spridas i organisationen, och synliggöras genom seminarier, konferenser och nyhetsbrev. De blir också möjliga underlag att använda i samband med tjänstetillsättningar, belöningar och karriärmöjligheter.



För att ovanstående ska komma till stånd krävs en mängd sammanhängande, integrerade aktiviteter i en komplex och dynamisk verksamhet, vilket också ställer krav på ledarskap. Avhandlingen visar därför slutligen att lokalt ledarskap i mikrokulturerna kan bidra till att understödja pedagogisk utveckling under förutsättning att det finns eller skapas interna mandat att leda. (Less)
Abstract
The focus in this thesis is to explore theoretical perspectives and strategies for academic development, particularly in a research-intensive university. The purpose is to investigate academic development that aims to support and influence individual academic teachers and groups of teachers, in the different social collegial contexts that they work in, here called microcultures. Building on literature focused on organizational learning these microcultures are defined as constituting the meso-level within the university. Previous research shows that effects from teacher training programmes largely depend on how such programmes are valued in the teacher’s professional environment. Furthermore, previous research has shown that local teaching... (More)
The focus in this thesis is to explore theoretical perspectives and strategies for academic development, particularly in a research-intensive university. The purpose is to investigate academic development that aims to support and influence individual academic teachers and groups of teachers, in the different social collegial contexts that they work in, here called microcultures. Building on literature focused on organizational learning these microcultures are defined as constituting the meso-level within the university. Previous research shows that effects from teacher training programmes largely depend on how such programmes are valued in the teacher’s professional environment. Furthermore, previous research has shown that local teaching and learning cultures, including norms developed over time, largely influence teachers’ ways of thinking and practising.



In this thesis academic development is explored with a research-intensive Scandinavian university as a case study. The theoretical framework originates from sociocultural and network theory, as well as from organizational and leadership research. The research is presented here in five articles and shows that academic teachers rely on trusting and inspirational conversations about teaching with a few others that constitute the teacher’s significant network. The more the professional context or microculture supports such conversations, the higher the number of significant relations within the workplace. By researching microcultures as a starting point for systematic academic development at the organizational meso-level, the research further suggests that an effective strategy for academic development is to increase the number of significant relations within microcultures, as well as between them. One such strategy that is used and investigated in the case is the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). SoTL can be a quality regulator for the character of the conversations within and between networks and the artefacts produced through SoTL can be used as transferrable objects of locally produced knowledge both within and between microcultures. Finally, local-level leadership is shown to have an impact on the development of microcultures, with results indicating that above all, an internal mandate needs to be established.



By focusing on how academic teachers and leaders are mutually influenced by, and influence, their collegial context, this thesis shows that academic development, taking this into account, has the potential to contribute to organizational learning. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Chalmers, Denise, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Academic development, higher education, leadership, mesolevel, microculture, significant network
categories
Higher Education
pages
166 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
Stora Hörsalen, Ingvar Kamprad Designcentrum, Sölvegatan 26, Lunds Tekniska Högskola.
defense date
2014-06-12 10:15
ISSN
1650-9773
ISBN
978-91-7473-941-1 (printed)
978-91-7473-942-8 (pdf)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
009233cb-2ca0-4996-bb04-84186e036d57 (old id 4438667)
date added to LUP
2014-05-19 13:58:25
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:47
@phdthesis{009233cb-2ca0-4996-bb04-84186e036d57,
  abstract     = {The focus in this thesis is to explore theoretical perspectives and strategies for academic development, particularly in a research-intensive university. The purpose is to investigate academic development that aims to support and influence individual academic teachers and groups of teachers, in the different social collegial contexts that they work in, here called microcultures. Building on literature focused on organizational learning these microcultures are defined as constituting the meso-level within the university. Previous research shows that effects from teacher training programmes largely depend on how such programmes are valued in the teacher’s professional environment. Furthermore, previous research has shown that local teaching and learning cultures, including norms developed over time, largely influence teachers’ ways of thinking and practising. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
In this thesis academic development is explored with a research-intensive Scandinavian university as a case study. The theoretical framework originates from sociocultural and network theory, as well as from organizational and leadership research. The research is presented here in five articles and shows that academic teachers rely on trusting and inspirational conversations about teaching with a few others that constitute the teacher’s significant network. The more the professional context or microculture supports such conversations, the higher the number of significant relations within the workplace. By researching microcultures as a starting point for systematic academic development at the organizational meso-level, the research further suggests that an effective strategy for academic development is to increase the number of significant relations within microcultures, as well as between them. One such strategy that is used and investigated in the case is the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). SoTL can be a quality regulator for the character of the conversations within and between networks and the artefacts produced through SoTL can be used as transferrable objects of locally produced knowledge both within and between microcultures. Finally, local-level leadership is shown to have an impact on the development of microcultures, with results indicating that above all, an internal mandate needs to be established. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
By focusing on how academic teachers and leaders are mutually influenced by, and influence, their collegial context, this thesis shows that academic development, taking this into account, has the potential to contribute to organizational learning.},
  author       = {Mårtensson, Katarina},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-941-1 (printed)},
  issn         = {1650-9773},
  keyword      = {Academic development,higher education,leadership,mesolevel,microculture,significant network},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {166},
  publisher    = {Lund University (Media-Tryck)},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Influencing teaching and learning microcultures. Academic development in a research-intensive university.},
  year         = {2014},
}