There is a worldwide interest in Teaching Excellence, which is reflected in the growth of HEA Fellowships, with more than 108k globally. The debate continues about reward and recognition of teaching and parity of esteem within career pathways for academic staff within higher education.
In 2012, a group of eight academics from four universities were commissioned to produce materials intended to support HE institutions wishing to review and develop their processes for promotions on the grounds of teaching. The project, entitled Promoting Teaching, submitted its final report and materials in 2013.
More recently, we commissioned studies to develop further some of the ideas from the Promoting Teaching project and to investigate issues raised by several academics in their review of the literature on teaching excellence. The areas looked at included the changing structure of the academic workforce and the potential of those changes to affect the way academic careers are viewed, a series of reports on how the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is defined and supported in UK HE, and the reward of educators and educational leadership in research-intensive universities.
Refining the conceptualisation of teaching excellence
These reports have attempted to refine conceptualisations of teaching excellence and how this may be evidenced. They respond to changes in the academic role and the consequent need to review and benchmark reward structures within and across institutions, and to develop criteria that recognise the contribution of leaders in teaching.
In response to these reports, we asked the question ‘is the work of the Promoting Teaching project team still relevant in global higher education?’ After discussion at a sector meeting held by Cardiff Metropolitan University, the answer was a firm “Yes”. Therefore Advance HE commissioned two of the members of the earlier Promoting Teaching project team, Professor Steve McHanwell and Professor Sue Robson, to review the recommendations of the Promoting Teaching project in light of the multiple perspectives on reward and recognition for teaching excellence, reflected in subsequent HEA projects and other recent literature in the field.
Their final report proposes a set of ‘Guiding Principles’ for the reward and recognition of teaching to inform institutions who may wish to revise their reward and recognition structures to include a clearer focus on teaching. The principles are intended to reflect changes in the academic role and support the reward and recognition of teaching in an equitable way compared with other academic achievements and in particular research.
The Guiding Principles report is now available to download.
- Universities HR Strategic Enhancement Project: Career progression and staff transitions strategic enhancement programme.
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- Cashmore, A. and Ramsden, P. (2009b). Reward and Recognition in Higher Education: Institutional policies and their implementation. York: Higher Education Academy.
- Cashmore, A., Cane, C., Cane, R. and Stainton, C. (2013). Rebalancing Promotion in the HE Sector: is teaching excellence being rewarded? York: Higher Education Academy.
- Fanghanel, J., Pritchard, J., Potter, J. and Wisker, G. (2016). Defining and Supporting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A sector-wide study. York: Higher Education Academy.
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- Locke, W., Whitchurch, C., Smith, H.J., and Mazenod, A. (2016). Shifting Landscapes: Meeting the staff development needs of the changing academic workforce. York: Higher Education.