What does it mean to be an inspirational teacher? (2014)

2.6 SHU LT 2 6 What does it mean to be an inspirational teacher REVISED

2.6 Inspirational Teachers – SHU LT conference handout 4
Caroline Heaton, Andrew Middleton & Nathaniel Pickering

Recent research funded by the Quality Assurance Agency into student expectations and perceptions of Higher Education has outlined some of the preferences that students have for teaching staff who are “enthusiastic, experienced and engaged” and who are “passionate and knowledgeable about their subject, with sufficient content knowledge and teaching capability” (Kandiko, C.B. & Mawer, M., 2013).

In 2011 Sheffield Hallam established a student-nominated Inspirational Teaching Awards scheme, as part of our commitment to recognise good transformative teaching and to share innovative practice.  The scheme has been informed by the Higher Education Academy and National Union of Students’ recommendations to establish positive methods of raising the profile of good teaching (http://www.studentledteachingawards.org.uk/).

In implementing the scheme, we have sought to develop our understanding of inspirational teaching through the use of qualitative research.  Using an approach based on appreciative inquiry, we have surveyed our award winners about their practice and have used comments from the National Student Survey to inform research into student opinions on what makes a positive learning experience.

In this session we will reflect on some of the perceptions and articulations of good teaching gleaned from the literature and from our own research, referenced to the UK Professional Standards Framework.  We will also consider how our conclusions might be used to inform the development and promotion of teaching excellence.