This part of my blog is aimed at academics rather than students, but it may also be of interest to postgraduate students who teach. I find it hard to keep track of all the interesting literature on teaching in higher education, so I’m going to post here articles that I’ve read and have found useful. This will be a useful resource for me, and maybe for you too.  [all notes are my own; let me know if there are any inaccuracies!]


Enhancing teaching and learning

Profiles of change in motivation for teaching in higher education at an American research university (Gunersel et al 2016)   We know surprisingly little about lecturers’motivation towards teaching in higher education, which is a shame because it affects not only their own performance but also their students’. This study used the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (Kaplan et al, 2015); this suggests that teacher’s actions stem from the integration of their personal ontological and epistemological beliefs, perceived purpose and goals, self-perceptions and self-definitions, and action possibilities.  They showed some change in these with a professional development (PD) programme for graduate students, but for me the most interesting aspect was how a PD programme could USE this model in its curriculum design, to explicitly develop role identities that are positive for teaching.

See also: Kaplan, A., J. K. Garner, and S. Semo. 2015. “Teacher Role-identity and Motivation as a Dynamic
System.” Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Educational Research
Association, Chicago, IL, April 16–20.


Internationalisation of higher education

Do they think we live in huts? Cultural essentialism and the challenges of facilitating professional development in cross-cultural settings. (Alvare, 2017Fascinating article about a cultural integration programme that did not have the beneficial effects they had hoped for.  It outlines the misunderstandings and even “blunders” made, the need to recognise the nature of culture as fluid and nuanced rather than fixed and consistent, and the importance of including all participants as equal partners.  A cautionary tale, but one with useful suggestions for future attempts.

Acculturation and cross-cultural adaptation: The moderating role of social support (Ng et al, 2017)
The article outlines four acculturation strategies:
(a) integration – maintain original culture & interact with new
(b) assimilation – lose original culture & interact with new
(c) separation – maintain original culture & avoid interaction with new
(d) marginalization – lose original culture & avoid interaction with new
Exploring these ideas in mainland Chinese students studying in Hong Kong, the authors find that more integration and less marginalization, and higher social support from family and LOCAL friends were associated with better adaptation.  Social support provided by non-local friends reduced the positive effect of integration on adaptation – the authors suggest that reliance on this sort of support may hinder long term adjustment, even if it’s beneficial in the short term.  This emphasises the need for opportunities to develop intercultural friendships to help integration.