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Title: Staff development in the University of Aberdeen : a study of roles
Author: McAleese, Ray
ISNI:       0000 0001 3622 3570
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis examines the roles of the staff development trainer in the University of Aberdeen. Staff development, (activities provided for university teachers intending to improve all aspects of their work), is examined with particular reference to one university. It is argued that university staff development is now becoming more or less accepted. From an indifferent start in the middle of the 1960's, staff development has become more important for British universities in the early 1970's. The thesis examines the work undertaken by the author as a staff development trainer. In general such work can be divided into four types of activities: formal courses; research-based studies; consultancies and system engineering. Formal courses are concerned with induction training and advanced and innovative teaching techniques. Research-based studies are empirically based and relate to problems encountered in training; e.g. self-confrontation, systematic observation of lecturing. Consultancies involve work where the trainer works with individual staff members, or departments on curriculum development problems. In system engineering, the trainer attempts to create a favourable working environment. Four general training tactics have been developed: seeding (achieving a multiplier effect); weaning (progressively removing the trainer's help); course teams (trainer, subject and media specialist, student); riding the educational wave (using a recent educational innovation as a starting point). Barriers to staff development are seen as: homeostatis (natural resistance to change); dependency (the system liking the current state); vested interests; rejection of outsiders; knowledge about training; trivialisation of knowledge about teaching; and innappropriate use of knowledge about teaching. The trainer adopts six overlapping sub-roles: organiser; teacher; researcher; facilitator; counsellor and consultant. The thesis argues that the central problem in staff development is an ambivilance between active intervention and non-direct support of teaching activities - by the trainer. The trainer is seen as an adaptive interventionist, shifting between sub-roles depending on the type of. work undertaken, or problems encountered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available