Teaching at Tertiary Level
Teaching at higher education level is about the discipline.
I mean this in two senses. It is about the academic discipline, the field of study which underpins the content that creates the basis for the teaching. Picking up on this meaning, recently, teaching within universities has been described by some higher education writers as ‘research-led’ (Jenkins et al., 2003). The importance of such a description of their teaching for those who teach in higher education is that students are being taught about being ‘historians’ or ‘biologists’. Academic disciplines have been described as ‘territories’ guarded by ‘tribes’ (Becher & Trowler, 2001). More recent work on academic ‘practice’ has identified practices and ‘arrangements’ which are characteristic of particular disciplinary points of view (Beckett & Hagar, 2002). What this describes for teaching at tertiary level is a certain set of academic cultures with a specific set of customs and practices. This results in a set of norms, or a set of particular approaches to ‘ways of knowing’ in different disciplinary settings (see, e.g., Lea & Street, 1998). These disciplinary differences impact the teacher and the learner in ways that are not found in teaching at other levels.
KeywordsHigh Education Tertiary Teaching Academic Discipline Academic Staff Tertiary Level
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