One key aim of the National Forum’s work plan was to create a professional development framework for those who teach in Irish higher education.
The framework for professional development aims to:
- Empower staff to create, discover and engage in meaningful personal and professional development in a variety of ways
- Encourage staff to engage in peer dialogue and support in their professional development activities
- Enhance and develop the pedagogy of individual disciplines for relevance and authenticity and enable learning from other disciplines
- Assist staff to reflect on, plan and contribute to the evidence-based enhancement and transformation of their teaching and learning approaches
- Contribute to the quality assurance and enhancement of the student learning experience
The National Forum used a phased approach to the framework’s development and implementation, see Figure 1.
- Phase 1: In 2014-2015, the National Forum carried out a nation-wide consultation with the higher education sector. It explored and reported on the existing accredited and non-accredited provision and consequently developed a professional conceptual model for the sector.
- Phase 2 (2016): Based on earlier consultations, in April 2016 the National Forum developed two draft documents (‘National Guidance for those who Teach’ and ‘Resource for Planning Personal Development’). Phase 2 culminated in the publication of Ireland’s first ‘National Professional Development Framework for all Staff who Teach in Higher Education’.
- Phase 3 (2016-2017): From September 2016, the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2016 will support the higher education sector to align their existing provision to the new framework, to specifically develop provision for leaders in teaching and learning enhancement and/or digital champions and will provide opportunities to discipline focused groups to identify and address their specific professional development needs. Read more.
Figure 1: An Overview of the Professional Development Framework Phases