Team-based professional development: possibilities and challenges of collaborative curriculum design in higher education

Inken Gast

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UTAcademic

Abstract

Universities and other higher education institutions have to innovate their curricula due to changes in the job-market and increased competition on a national and international level. The success of curriculum innovations is, however, highly dependent on the teachers who have to implement them, and who are often also involved in the design of these innovations. For a successful design and implementation of these curriculum innovations, teacher professional development is crucial and needs to focus on teachers’ attitudes towards the innovation, as well as the development of necessary knowledge and skills.
Collaborative curriculum design in teacher teams is a more recent development in higher education and can be an effective way to design curricula. Moreover, it can support teacher professional development (in terms of teachers’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills) at the same time. Although professional development during collaborative curriculum design has often been studied in primary and secondary education, this is not the case for higher education. Therefore, this dissertation aims to shed more light on the opportunities for teacher professional development during the design and implementation of curriculum innovations in higher education, as well as on ways in which higher education institutions can positively influence teacher attitudes towards the innovation.
The results show that teacher professional development during collaborative curriculum design does not just happen, but needs to be actively supported, as it does not naturally occur in many teams. Team functioning as well as support by the team leader play an important role in this regard, as they are positively related to teachers’ attitudes as well as the development of new knowledge and skills. The team leader also largely determines whether meaningful learning opportunities for teachers are created during the curriculum design process. Furthermore, leaders within the university need to actively show a positive attitude towards the curriculum innovation to inspire a positive attitude among the teachers. Finally, teachers need to be given enough time to actually spend on curriculum design activities. Supporting the teacher teams can be an effective way to work on all of these challenges and it can help to make collaborative curriculum design successful.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
Supervisors/Advisors
  • McKenney, Susan, Supervisor
  • Schildkamp, Kim , Supervisor
  • van der Veen, Jan T., Co-Supervisor
Award date13 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationEnschede
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4645-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2018

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curriculum
teacher
education
innovation
teacher attitude
leader
way to work
primary education
earning a doctorate
secondary education
university
market
knowledge
learning

Cite this

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title = "Team-based professional development: possibilities and challenges of collaborative curriculum design in higher education",
abstract = "Universities and other higher education institutions have to innovate their curricula due to changes in the job-market and increased competition on a national and international level. The success of curriculum innovations is, however, highly dependent on the teachers who have to implement them, and who are often also involved in the design of these innovations. For a successful design and implementation of these curriculum innovations, teacher professional development is crucial and needs to focus on teachers’ attitudes towards the innovation, as well as the development of necessary knowledge and skills.Collaborative curriculum design in teacher teams is a more recent development in higher education and can be an effective way to design curricula. Moreover, it can support teacher professional development (in terms of teachers’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills) at the same time. Although professional development during collaborative curriculum design has often been studied in primary and secondary education, this is not the case for higher education. Therefore, this dissertation aims to shed more light on the opportunities for teacher professional development during the design and implementation of curriculum innovations in higher education, as well as on ways in which higher education institutions can positively influence teacher attitudes towards the innovation.The results show that teacher professional development during collaborative curriculum design does not just happen, but needs to be actively supported, as it does not naturally occur in many teams. Team functioning as well as support by the team leader play an important role in this regard, as they are positively related to teachers’ attitudes as well as the development of new knowledge and skills. The team leader also largely determines whether meaningful learning opportunities for teachers are created during the curriculum design process. Furthermore, leaders within the university need to actively show a positive attitude towards the curriculum innovation to inspire a positive attitude among the teachers. Finally, teachers need to be given enough time to actually spend on curriculum design activities. Supporting the teacher teams can be an effective way to work on all of these challenges and it can help to make collaborative curriculum design successful.",
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Team-based professional development : possibilities and challenges of collaborative curriculum design in higher education. / Gast, Inken .

Enschede : University of Twente, 2018. 219 p.

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UTAcademic

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