• What's the difference under the gown? : new professors' development as university teachers

      Simmons, Nicola.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      This study explores how new university teachers develop a teaching identity. Despite the significance ofteaching, which usually comprises 40% of a Canadian academic's workload, few new professors have any formal preparation for that aspect of their role. Discipline-specific education for postsecondary professors is a well-defined path; graduates applying for faculty positions will have the terminal degree to attest to their knowledge and skill conducting research in the discipline. While teaching is usually given the same workload balance as research, it is not clear how professors create themselves as teaching professionals. Drawing on Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory and Kegan's (1982, 1994) model ofdevelopmental constructivism through differentiation and integration, this study used a phenomenographic framework~(Marton, 1986, 1994; Trigwell & Prosser, 1996) to investigate the question of how new faculty members construe their identity as university teachers. Further, my own role development as researcher was used as an additional lens through which to view the study results. The study focused particularly on the challenges and supports to teaching role development and outlines recommendations the participants made for supporting other newcomers. In addition, the variations and similarities in the results suggest a developmental model to conceptions ofteaching roles, one in which teaching, research, and service roles are viewed as more integrated over time. Developing a teacher identity was seen as a progression on a hierarchical model similar to Maslow's (1968) hierarchy of needs.