chapter  10
15 Pages

Teaching in higher education as a collective endeavour


Many of the tasks entailed in university teaching are characteristically performed by an individual, whether giving a lecture or convening a seminar. A lecturer usually stands in front of a class of students on his or her own, or a single technician will explain to a group of students how to operate a piece of equipment. The collective dimension to teaching is muted at best. If teaching is stereotypically seen as involving actions of the individual, then we should not be surprised that the dominant theories used to frame how to teach in higher education are focused on individual competence. Indeed, Boud (1999) suggested that programmes of professional development for teaching in higher education typically focus on training and developing individual members of staff as resource for their institutions, on the lines of human capital theory (Lepak & Snell 1999).