University Teaching: An Introductory Guide is a vital tool for the new lecturer that aims to encourage and support an inquiry into university teaching and academic life. This book understands that teaching is not discrete but one of many activities integrated in academic work. It recognizes that teaching is directly affected by administrative concerns such as timetabling and workload demands, departmental culture, disciplinary research expectations and how we think about the purposes and values of higher education. The new lecturer must learn to adapt to and shape the circumstances of their academic work.
Understanding that teaching is an integral part of this work, rather than a dislocated discipline, can help us think about practice in new ways. Harland argues against the teaching-research divide and popular opinion that ‘teaching takes time away from research’. He proffers the sentiment that all aspects of academic practice need to be considered when inquiring into learning how to teach, and that teaching is better understood when it is firmly embedded and integrated in this work. Writing from his experience extracted from a ten-year research project working with early career staff, he addresses popular concerns of academics, including:
- Peer review of teaching
- Discussion as an approach to teaching
- Research and the new academic
- The subject and the idea of critical thinking
This clearly written and practical book will be ideal for all new lecturers in higher education, and also more seasoned academics wishing to progress their professional development.
Tony Harland is Associate Professor at the Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand