Developing pedagogic competence
Teaching in higher education is traditionally based on a combination of comprehensive subject knowledge, the scientific approach that one develops during one´s sojourn at the University, and on experiences from being at the receiving end of teaching and learning activities. These are all highly self-evident and necessary components in the qualifications of a teacher in higher education, but teaching and learning is now to a significantly higher degree formed by the teacher’s conscious combination of the analytic and critical reflection which also forms his or her approach to research.
The concept of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has brought about a shift as more teachers are motivated to develop new forms of teaching, feedback, and assessment. This has resulted in greater openness to alternative forms of teaching and an increased interest in systematic comparison of the pros and cons of new and traditional teaching approaches in varying pedagogic contexts. It has also led to a greater emphasis on what actually supports students learning. At the same time, this shift places greater demands on training in academic teaching, in opportunities for exchanging experiences, and for research in the field.
In addition, all new teachers are in need of an introduction to the role and requirements of the teaching tasks. Aside from providing basic information, this can also include the participation of experienced academic teachers to serve as mentors.
Academic teacher training
Pursuant to the guidelines for Teaching and Learning at Uppsala University, all newly-employed professors, associate professors, and lecturers shall have documented academic teacher training equivalent to ten weeks. PhD students with teaching tasks shall have a basic academic teacher training encompassing at least five weeks.
A basic academic teacher training course and other, more specialized courses are arranged by the unit for Academic Teaching and Learning. Supplemental courses are provided by other units such as the Office of User Support and E-Learning. In addition, more subject-didactic oriented courses are arranged by the individual faculties and departments.
The basic training naturally requires follow-up in order to remain current and . All teachers at Uppsala University are entitled to engage in personal skills development every year.