Main Article Content
The aim of this research project was to deepen our understanding of the professional development of postgraduates who teach (tutors). Using arts-based methods, we asked postgraduate tutors and senior staff how they saw tutors’ roles and development needs. Based on our research outcomes, we found that both postgraduate tutors and senior staff were concerned in their different ways about a lack of community, the administrative burden on tutors, the importance of enjoyment, how tutoring should be recognised and valued, and the question of training versus development. We make use of a framework borrowed from gerontological nursing for thinking about and addressing these issues in practice.
Note: In this paper, ‘tutor’ refers to the part-time, adjunct, assistant, sessional or casual staff who make a significant contribution to small and large-group teaching, assessment and feedback in higher education. We are particularly concerned here with postgraduates who teach; ‘senior staff’ refers to a variety of colleagues who have some responsibility for supporting tutor development, including course organisers, senior tutors and administrative staff.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice has made best effort to ensure accuracy of the contents of this journal, however makes no claims to the authenticity and completeness of the articles published. Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables etc which are supplied from an outside source.
Ball, C., Metcalfe, J., Pearce, E., & Shinton, S. (2004). What do PhDs do? The UK GRAD Programme.
Beaton, F., & Gilbert, A. (2013). Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development. London: Routledge.
Blackwell, R., Channell, J. & Williams, J. (2001). Teaching circles: A way forward for part-time teachers in higher education? International Journal for Academic Development, 6(1), 40-53.
Brand, T. (2013). Foreword: The lost tribe. In F. Beaton and A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. xv-xviii). Routledge: London.
Brown, J., Nolan, M., Davies, S., Nolan, J., & Keady, J. (2008). Transforming students’ views of gerontological nursing: Realising the potential of ‘enriched’ environments of learning and care: A multi-method longitudinal study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45, 1214-1232.
Burge, A., Godinho, M. G., Knottenbelt, M., & Loads, D. (2016). ‘ … But we are academics!’ a reflection on using arts-based research activities with university colleagues. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(6), 730-737.
Chadha, D. (2013). Reconceptualising and reframing graduate teaching assistant (GTA) provision for a research-intensive institution. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(2), 205-217.
Cho, Y., Kim, M., Svinicki, M., & Decker, M. (2011). Exploring teaching concerns and characteristics of graduate teaching assistants. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(3), 267-279.
Colderley, C. (2012, November/December). Inspire creativity with headline poetry. Teach, pp. 9-10.
Devenish, R., Dyer, S., Jefferson, T., Lord, L., van Leeuwen, S., & Fazakerley, V. (2009). Peer to peer support: The disappearing work in the doctoral student experience. Higher Education Research and Development, 28(1), 59-70.
Dotger, S. (2011). Exploring and developing graduate teaching assistants' pedagogies via lesson study. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 157-169.
Eisner, E., & Barone, T. (2012). Arts-based research. London: Sage.
Fairbrother, H. (2012). Creating space: maximising the potential of the graduate teaching assistant role. Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), 353-358.
Fisher, R., & Taithe, B. (1998). Developing university teachers: an account of a scheme designed for postgraduate researchers on a lecturing career path. Teaching in Higher Education, 3(1), 37-50.
Gaskell, A. (2013). Policy and practice to support part-time teachers at scale: The experience of the UK’s Open University. In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 47-59). Routledge: London.
Gilbert, A. (2013). Introduction: The expansion of part-time teaching in higher education and its consequences. In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 1-17). Routledge: London.
Gilmore, J., Maher, M., Feldon, D., & Timmerman, B. (2013). Exploration of factors related to the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduate teaching assistants’ teaching orientations. Studies in Higher Education 39(10), 1910-1928.
Goodlad, S. (1997). Responding to the perceived training needs of graduate teaching assistants. Studies in Higher Education, 22(1), 83-92.
Hall, M., & Sutherland, K. (2013). Students who teach: Developing scholarly tutors. In F. Beaton and A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 82-93). Routledge: London.
Handley, K., den Outer, B., & Price, M. (2013). Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities. Higher Education Research and Development, 32(6), 888-900.
Husbands, C. (1998). Assessing the extent of use of part-time teachers in British Higher Education: Problems and issues in enumerating a flexible labour force. Higher Education Quarterly, 52(3), 257-281.
Jawitz, J. (2007). New academics negotiating communities of practice: Learning to swim with the big fish. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(2), 185-197.
Knottenbelt, M., & Fiddes, N. (1994). Part-time tutoring. A survey of teaching by Postgraduate and other part-time tutors at the University of Edinburgh. University of Edinburgh, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment.
Krieg, S. (2010). Identity and knowledge work in a university tutorial. Higher Education Research and Development, 29(4), 433-446.
Leavy, P. (2009). Method Meets Art: Arts-based Research Practice. 2nd edition. New York: Guildford Press
Lee, A. (2013). What makes a really good support programme for part-time lecturers in higher education? In F. Beaton and A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 63-81). Routledge: London
Loads, D. (2010). I’m a dancer and I’ve got a saucepan on my head: Metaphor in the professional development of university lecturers. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(4), 409-421.
Locke, W. (2014). Shifting academic careers: implications for enhancing professionalism in teaching and supporting learning. Higher Education Academy, York, UK.
Lueddeke, G. (1997). Training postgraduates for teaching: Considerations for programme planning and development. Teaching in Higher Education 2(2), 141-151.
Luzia, K., & Harvey, M. (2013). Benchmarking leadership and advancement of standards for sessional teaching (BLASST). Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.
McAlpine, L., & Turner, G. (2012). Imagined and emerging career patterns: Perceptions of doctoral students and research staff. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 6(4), 535-548.
McAlpine, L. (2014, March). Postdoctoral career trajectories: Whither the future? Paper presented at the meeting of Comparative and International Education Society, Toronto.
McCormack, C., & Kelly, P. (2013). How do we know it works? Designing support interventions to meet the real needs of new part-time lecturers. In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 94-113). Routledge: London.
Muzaka, V. (2009). The niche of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs): Perceptions and reflections. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(1), 1-12.
Myers, S. A. (1998). GTAs as organizational newcomers: The association between supportive communication relationships and information seeking. Western Journal of Communication, 62(1), 54–73.
Nolan, M. R., Davies, S., Brown, J., Keady, J., & Nolan, J. (2004). Beyond ‘personcentred’ care: A new vision for gerontological nursing. International Journal of Older Peoples’ Nursing, 13(3a), 45–53
Park, C. (2004). The graduate teaching assistant (GTA): Lessons from North American experience. Teaching in Higher Education, 9(3), 349-361.
Parker, P., & Sumner, N (2013). Tutoring online: Practices and developmental needs of part-time/casual staff. In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective parttime teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 134-148). Routledge: London.
Regan, J., & Besemer, K. (2009). Using action learning to support doctoral students to develop their teaching practice. International Journal for Academic Development, 14(3), 209-220.
Smissen, J. (2003). Teaching teams in first year biology – facilitating the transition from research student to teacher. In: Training, Support and Management of Sessional Teaching Staff. University of Queensland, Australia.
Starr, K. (2013). All take and no give? Responding to the support and development needs of women in casual academic roles. In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 149-162). London: Routledge
Tomkinson, B. (2013). Supporting part-time and other teaching staff: Who are they and why are they important? In F. Beaton & A. Gilbert (Eds.), Developing effective part-time teachers in higher education: New approaches to professional development (pp. 21-33). Routledge: London.
Truuvert, T. (2014). Enhancing tutorial learning experiences: a programme to develop sessional-tutor teaching skills by raising awareness about learning. Studies in Higher Education, 39(1), 20-33.
University of Edinburgh (2012). Code of Practice on Tutoring and Demonstrating. Retrieved from: http://www.docs.sasg.ed.ac.uk/AcademicServices/Codes/CoPTutoringDemonstrating.pdf.
Williams, B. (2002). Using collage art work as a common medium for communication in interprofessional workshops. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 16(1), 53-58.