‘Left with a title but nothing else’: the challenges of embedding professional recognition schemes for teachers within higher education institutions

Lucy Spowart, Jennie Winter, Rebecca Turner, Penny Burden, Kathryn Ann Botham, Reema Muneer, Hendrik van der Sluis, Isabel Huet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    With increasing moves globally towards the professionalisation of teaching in Higher Education, there is growing interest in the role of accredited professional recognition schemes that provide professional development for established university teaching staff. In the UK, There are now over 120 professional recognition schemes, resulting in institutionally focused evaluation studies examining their impact. This article contributes to this emerging body of work; it draws on cross-institutional data and Foucauldian theorising to address two important questions. In what ways does engagement with an institutional professional recognition scheme impact on participants’ teaching development, and how does institutional culture influence that engagement? The data illustrate that whilst institutional culture drives engagement, it did little to promote teaching development. Across the case-study institutions, neo-liberalism agendas were apparent. Some staff felt pushed to achieve professional recognition in response to the increasing use of metrics to measure the student experience and to inform institutional standing in league tables. Whilst evidence shows the process of seeking accreditation can lead to an enhancement in teaching practices, caution must be taken to ensure that the professional development opportunities offered by accreditation schemes are fully realised.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1299-1312
    Number of pages14
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development
    Volume38
    Issue number6
    Early online date16 May 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2019

    Keywords

    • evaluation of impact
    • professional standards
    • professionalisation of teaching
    • Recognition

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