Teacher educators work in collaborative, creative, and innovative ways to facilitate pedagogies in higher education

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Lee, Ingrid Halina (2022) Teacher educators work in collaborative, creative, and innovative ways to facilitate pedagogies in higher education. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Academics’ capacity for collaborating when managing and developing education products and services required by Higher Education (HE) systems is both complex and challenging work (Grant, 2021; Dougherty & Natow, 2019; Barnett, 2018). Accordingly, this situation results in tensions and opportunities for academics trying to navigate their teaching, research and other duties alongside burgeoning expectations and accountability driven university systems (Krause, 2020; Shumar & Robinson, 2018; Marginson, 2016). Leonard and Roberts (2016) and Alden Rivers, Nie and Armellini (2015) signify a gap in the research around collaborative practices that support ways academics work within these complexities, which include certain attributes of creativity and innovation. My research generates insight into the way creativity and innovation influence pedagogy and the opportunities for academics’ collaborative practices in initial teacher education (ITE) programs. ITE programs are complex spaces within HE where academics work in preparation of new skilled teachers, administration, developing programs, research, and meeting expectations of education and innovation policies of universities, schools, community, and government demands (Marginson, 2018; Turk, 2017). My study contributes to work revealing academics’ experiences of space, voice, and agency in their potential to contribute meaningfully within and to HE systems. My research addresses the value and potential of collaboration, creativity, and innovation practices, reflecting the relationship between academics and the HE environment, not from the whole university perspective, rather the phenomena of spaces within the system. The key understanding is collaboration, creativity, and innovation are fluid, dynamic practices, superseding methods for academics’ professional participatory and policy compliance. They are key acts and experiences for navigating the shifting and complex spaces of universities. These spaces, rather than atomising academics’ viability in the workforce, positively influence workplace relations, identity as academics, scholarship, and agency, to result in universities as a good place to work. To understand academics’ potential for collaborating and applying certain attributes of creativity and innovation when developing contemporary education programs, I sought a pragmatic, reflexive, and reflective methodology. Thus, my methodology largely situated a pragmatic worldview, which on occasions moved to an interpretivist and constructivist lens (Mertens, 2019; Alvesson & Sköldberg, 2017). Using informal survey and semi structured interview data, academics’ experiences were analysed through linguistic methods applied to empirical phenomenology and sequential qualitative (QUAL - qual) approaches to multi methods (Schoonenboom & Johnson, 2017; Morse, 2010). These methods explored relationships between phenomenology, reflexivity, and creativity, to reveal layers of meaning from the dialogue (Fetters & Azorin, 2017; Holmes 2007). I analysed these layers with a framework of pragmalinguistic and meta-text analysis to identify conceptual themes (Esenova, 2017; Witosz, 2017). The findings and interpretations demonstrated social, psychological, and political factors of phenomena academics experienced and valued in their work. Including approaches for academics to navigate complexities and change in HE. These findings contribute knowledge for university policymakers and managers, when designing academics’ workloads and communities of practice, to be inclusive of time and spaces for authentic opportunities for genuine collaboration and connectedness within social ecologies of HE.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/43933
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3903 Education systems
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords higher education, collaboration, creativity, innovation, teacher education, pedagogy, qualitative methodology, phenomenology, pragmalinguistic analysis
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