Where are our Future Leaders of Teaching and Learning Going to Come From?

Sarah LIST
University of South Australia, Australia

Flinders University, Australia

The University of Adelaide, Australia


Teaching-focused positions are becoming increasingly part of the academic profiles within Australian universities (Probert, 2013). Yet few enter these positions with formal experience or qualifications to carry out scholarly activities used to inform or evaluate teaching and learning quality. For the majority of academics, the opportunity to develop leadership skills comes through research based activities such as conducting research projects, applying for grants, writing and editing journal articles, and supervising higher degree students. A clear pathway is provided from the honours through to the postdoctoral phases, with mentored development by more senior research academics. For academics that have chosen a more education-focused position there is little of this structured development, especially as many have made a career change to focus on educational activities rather than on their discipline specialty. Without a more structured approach these academics will find it more difficult to achieve leadership roles or senior academic positions. We therefore need to ask, "Where are our future leaders of teaching and learning going to come from?"

This round-table seeks to discuss opportunities to build leadership capacity in education focused academic staff. Using an existing cross-disciplinary Communities of Practice (CoPs) framework, the Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide (HERGA) as a model to develop leadership capacity, we will discuss the potential impact and application of these types of CoP's within other tertiary institutions. Data from almost a decade of tri-institutional CoP activities will allow for evidence-based discussion.

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