Breaking down barriers in building teacher competence


  • Pip Bruce Fergusson


action research, resistance, teacher research, advocates/advocacy


Teachers may well be made, not born, and appointments to academic positions are often made without regard to the appointee’s prior experience or competence in teaching. In most New Zealand universities, compulsory teaching development is not required. Furthermore, enrolment in opportunities to help teachers to develop further, frequently do not attract high numbers. How can those of us who work in staff development work effectively with resistant staff? How can we ensure that what we offer has optimal value in diverse areas? This paper reflects on an action research process currently under way in a New Zealand university, which seeks to investigate the usefulness of current and new staff development initiatives and to maximise benefits to staff. The work was presented at the recent ALARA conference and reflections from this presentation are interspersed with accounts of the work.  I have used italics to highlight the ‘process’ parts of the work as it was presented at ALARA.