Professions and professionalism in teaching and development
This chapter provides a sociocultural perspective on academic development. It introduces some current theoretical frameworks, including social network theory, organisational culture and communities of practice. Learning through formal academic development activities is therefore not straightforward, since it is blended with informal learning during day-to-day interaction with colleagues. The pedagogical courses in the university are designed with the intention to support both the individual academic teachers and their collegial contexts in improving teaching and student learning. The chapter provides case study on appropriate critical friend, curriculum redesign and team-working. It explains a theoretical framework that captures social networks, academic microcultures in the meso or middle level of the organisation and used communities of practice as a specific framing of such collegial contexts. The authors claim that it is mainly through day-to-day interactions and meaning-making processes in collegial contexts that academics develop their understanding and practices of teaching.