1st Edition

Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education

Edited By Brenda Leibowitz, Vivienne Bozalek, Peter Kahn Copyright 2017
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education provides both lecturers embarking on a career in higher education and established members of staff with the capacity to improve their teaching. The process of learning to teach, and the associated field of professional academic development for teaching, is absolutely central to higher education. Offering innovative alternatives to some of the dominant work on teaching theory, this volume explores three significant approaches in detail: critical and social realist, social practice and sociomaterial approaches, which are divided into four sections:

    • Sociomaterialism
    • Practice theories
    • Critical and social realism
    • Crossover perspectives.

    Readers will benefit from discussions on the role and place of theory in the process of learning to teach, whilst international case studies demonstrate the kinds of insights and recommendations that could emanate from the three approaches examined, drawing together contributions from Europe, Africa and Australasia.

    Both challenging and enlightening, this book argues the need for theory in order to advance scholarship in the field and achieve goals related to social justice in higher education systems across the world. It draws attention to newly emerging theoretical perspectives and relatively underused perspectives to demonstrate the need for theory in relation to learning to teach.

    This book will appeal to academics interested in how they come to learn to teach, to administrators and academic developers responsible for professional development strategies at universities and masters and PhD level students researching professional development in higher education.

    Part 1: Sociomaterialism 1. How Sociomaterial Approaches Could Support Higher Education as a Critical Practice 2. Reflecting on Things: Sociomaterial Perspectives on Academic Development 3. Diffracting Learning/Teaching Entanglements: A South African Vice-Chancellor’s Perspective 4. Knowledge Infrastructures, Digital Higher Education and the Hidden Curriculum Part 2: Practice Theories 5. Learning to Teach as the Development of Practice 6. Developing Professionally: A Practice Based Perspective 7. Stewardship as Practice: ‘Learning on-the-Job’ for the Academic Development Newcomer 8. Cultural-Historical Approaches to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Teaching to Support Student Agency Part 3: Critical and Social Realism 9. Critical and Social Realism as Theoretical Resources for Thinking about Professional Development and Equity 10. Teaching in Higher Education as a Collective Endeavour 11. Extreme Teaching’: Exercising Agency in Difficult Contexts Part 4: Crossover Perspectives 12. Researching Learning to Teach: A Narrative on ‘Crossing Over’ 13. Putting Theory to Work: Comparing Theoretical Perspectives on Academic Practices in Teaching and Learning Change 14. Post-script on Theorising Learning to Teach: Insights, Absences and Future Possibilities


    Brenda Leibowitz is Chair of Teaching and Learning in the Education Faculty at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Vivienne Bozalek is Professor of Social Work and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa.

    Peter Kahn is Director of Studies for the online professional doctorate (EdD) in Higher Education at the University of Liverpool, UK.

    Chrissie Boughey - Rhodes University, South Africa

    A lot of the submissions I review for journals on teaching and learning lack theory. I therefore welcome a book that would introduce theory in relation to learning to teach especially as theory is key to the pursuit of social justice. One of my most frequent complaints as a reviewer for journals that publish work on teaching and learning in higher education is the lack of theorising in many of the pieces that come my way. Much of the work I am called upon to review also excludes any consideration of context and, specifically, the way elements in the context, such as disciplinarity, impact on the initiatives described. In principle, then, I think there is a real need for a book that argues the need for theory if scholarship in the field is to be advanced and if we are to achieve goals related to social justice in higher education systems across the world.

    Ray Land - Durham University, UK

    I think there is a need for a book such as this given that higher education research and particularly Academic Development research tends to fish in a rather small pool of theoretical ideas, with certain dominating perspectives. The introduction of challenging new lenses such as these would be a healthy and welcome contribution to the field. The major strength is its drawing attention to newly emerging theoretical perspectives or relatively underused perspectives, which can act as fresh lenses on teaching in higher education. This is a faily secialised contribution and is opening up new ground.