Future-Ready Faculty: Developing the Characteristics of Expertise in Teaching in Higher Education

Helen King

8:30 – 12:00 (half-day morning workshop)

For a number of years I have been interested in ‘ways of thinking and practising’ (WTP) in academic disciplines and, more recently, the WTP in teaching in higher education (HE). This led me to explore the literature on characteristics of expertise. If we can better understand these WTP and expertise characteristics in HE this may then help inform the enhancement of faculty development. In addition, the concept of expertise offers a useful complement to the notion of excellence as it is better aligned to the continuous improvement values of faculty development.

In 2018, a research grant from the UK Staff & Educational Development Association (SEDA) enabled me to conduct semi-structured interviews with nine UK National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) to explore how these ‘excellence in teaching’ award winners develop their teaching practice. This exploration was aligned to three models of expertise development: Deliberate Practice, Progressive Problem Solving, and Reflective Practice.

Analysis of the interviews, reflection on my practice and experiences, and consideration of the expertise literature has led me to develop a model of expertise in teaching in HE that involves three interacting dimensions:

  • Self-determined & purposeful approaches to learning and development
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  • Artistry of Teaching: authentic, creative & improvisatory

This model of expertise has been used in a variety of positively received ways including to frame the faculty professional development provision at the University of the West of England as well as within specific development activities with new and experienced faculty.

This interactive workshop will explore this model of expertise in teaching in higher education using examples from the SEDA-funded research and drawing on the workshop facilitator’s and participants’ own experiences. The aims of the workshop are to:

  • Explore a model of the characteristics of expertise in teaching in higher education;
  • Share ideas for how this can be used to support faculty professional development;
  • Enable participants to consider how they might adopt or adapt these ideas for their own professional context.

Participants will receive hard copy and electronic access to a variety of resources for use during the workshop and to take away for use in their own professional context.