Part of the 4TU.Federation
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

Higher Education is changing rapidly, therefore efforts have been targeted towards raising the esteem of teaching. Higher Education institutes have developed pedagogical training (programmes) and put more pressure on teachers to follow pedagogical training or pedagogical development programmes (PDP). This requires much financial and time investment for both teachers and universities. However, previous research has focused mostly on self-perceived effects of teachers, sometimes supplemented with the perspective of students, without explaining how this was related to the characteristics of the pedagogical trainings.

Objective and expected outcomes

In this proposed PhD research we aim to gain more insight into the relationship between characteristics of Pedagogical Development Programmes (PDP) and the effects on teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, their behaviour and changes in the classroom, and investigate under which circumstances and by which mechanisms these effects occur. In the proposed study, the Dutch University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) programme will serve as exemplary case.

The first study will be a systematic review aimed at providing an overview of characteristics, moderating factors, mediating processes and types of effects that are related to pedagogical development activities in Higher education. With the second study, a survey study, we aim to gain insight into the fostering and hindering effects of different characteristics of the University Teaching Qualification as perceived by the teachers of four universities on their professional development. The third study will be a case study in which the intended, implemented and attained UTQ programme of one university will be investigated. The goal of this study will be to compare the programme with design principles derived from the first two studies. The fourth study will be an embedded multiple case study. Four to six teachers who will enter the UTQ programme at the same university as that of study 3 will be followed during the whole programme. The Interconnected Model of Change (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002) will be used to typify the development of the teachers.

The results of this proposed PhD research will contribute to a comprehensive picture of what works, for whom and under which circumstances in Pedagogical Development Programmes.