Reconceptualizing the teaching team in universities: Working with sessional staff
The need for universities to find cost-effective methods for the delivery of quality programmes has seen an increase in the numbers of casual or sessional staff in universities over the past several years. The paper suggests that the existing notions of how teaching teams are constituted should be reconceptualized to encompass sessional staff. This would allow the work being undertaken by sessional staff to be openly acknowledged and recognized by the systems in which they work. The employment of sessional markers should be regarded as 'value-adding' to the teaching teams of the university rather than as an outsourcing of critical university functions. The framework presented here proposes that the particular professional or academic attributes contributed by sessional markers enhance the extant expertise of teams and thus potentially serve to promote the teaching-learning process. Reconceptualization of the teaching team may well require a negotiation of power relationships. Nevertheless, it is important that the contributions made by markers are recognized to ensure equity, fairness and transparency.
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