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Academic professional development practice: What lecturers find valuable

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In an increasingly challenging tertiary environment where academics need more than ever to be skilled across a range of areas, including that of teaching, understanding what constitutes effective professional development is crucial. This paper reports on what a group of lecturers at an Australian university find valuable in developing their professional expertise by means of work-embedded events and activities. It was considered important to probe lecturers' understandings in line with constructivist approaches that encourage the involvement of participants in the learning or development process. Particularly where participants are highly educated and self-aware, drawing out their knowledge and practice seems a fruitful way of informing approaches to professional development. The study revealed that lecturers found a wide range of strategies useful in developing their professional expertise, with a predominance of those strategies being collaborative in nature. The paper suggests some practical ways in which universities can support professional development activities which lecturers identify as valuable.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Teaching and Educational Development Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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