Tuesday, April 14, 2015

U.S. Postsecondary Faculty in 2015; Diversity In People, Goals And Methods, But Focused On Students

Our work aimed to fill important gaps in the knowledge by developing a greater understanding of postsecondary faculty, and their attitudes and beliefs as they affect pedagogical choices and impact student outcomes. We believe this is crucial, as faculty are the key interface between the system and students, often the first to see student needs, and in any event, are crucial in developing and adopting approaches to meet these needs. At the same time, U.S postsecondary faculty are diverse personally, both within and across institutions. Consequently, while many conjectures and hypotheses exist with respect to faculty goals, objectives, and behaviors, there is not a systematic understanding of how these may differ across the professoriate, and how any differences affect the faculty behaviors which most affect student outcomes.

The investigation focused on both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors associated with perceptions of education held by postsecondary faculty in the United States. The research illuminates how different internal and external factors (motivational, behavioral, contextual enablers/barriers, values, beliefs, and demographics) come together to influence faculty members’ willingness to learn about new pedagogies, incorporate new ideas in their work, and spread new ideas regarding teaching and learning to peers and campus leaders.
Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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