Pedagogical Competency: Why Lecturers Need To Be Trained.
Abu Hassan Ibrahim
Universiti Technologi MARA, Malaysia
The importance of designing instructional objectives, activities and evaluation methods is increasing in higher learning. However this urgent necessity is being tarnished by the lack of awareness on the training needs of such pedagogical competency. At present, training initiative to assess, design and conduct pedagogical competency program is extremely low. This paper highlights the performance deficiencies among teachers in higher education due to the lack of pedagogical competency. The importance of this competency which covers from aligning the teaching philosophy to designing teaching tools in accordance with the teaching continuum will be exposed. The paper hopes to create awareness especially among academic leaderships to support training initiative for academicians so that their intellectual properties can be delivered and shared in a more effective repertoire. While academicians enjoy the intangible reward of teaching, training in pedagogical competency will also ensure quality teaching in higher education.
Training in higher education refers to a planned effort by the institution to facilitate lecturer’s learning of teaching related competencies. These competencies include knowledge, skills, or behaviors that are critical for successful teaching performance. The goal of training is for lecturers to master the knowledge, skill, and behaviors emphasized in training programs and to apply them to their day-to-day teaching activities. Today training is necessary for all lecturers and it is a way to create intellectual capital which includes basic skills, advanced skills and understanding of the students and self-motivated creativity (Noe, 2002). The learning outcomes of students such as the intellectual, cognitive, psychomotor and affective aspects must be the pedagogical priority. Thus the idiosyncrasy of conducting training for mere promotional exercises, fashion setter and faking technologies should be avoided because training if not properly conducted is a drain of the university fund. However there are still evidences that training were conducted without properly following the instructional design process model (Desimone et al., 2002) and phases such as the training needs assessment and evaluation were simply avoided. According to the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), after content competence, pedagogical competency is considered the second most important ethical principle in teaching in the higher learning. A lecturer need to be pedagogically competent because he or she needs to communicate the objectives of the course to students, is aware of alternative instructional methods or strategies, and selects methods of instruction that, according to research evidence (including personal or self-reflective research), are effective in helping students to achieve the course objectives. Personal reading, attending seminars and colloquiums are good exposure but insufficient to equip them the necessary knowledge and ability. Training is thus very essential to ensure that they can acquire the pedagogical competency and transfer them during the teaching process. In trying to discover the pedagogical competency of a lecturer, let ask a few simple and very basic questions needed in any teaching responsibility. i.
Do lecturers have a lesson plan for a particular lecture? Do lecturers structure their teaching according to “the components of good teaching”? ii.
Are lecturers actively involved in designing the instructional objectives, activities and evaluation instruments? iii.
What are their teaching philosophies? Do they have one and how does it develop over their teaching years? Do they align the philosophies with their teaching strategies? iv.
Are the lecturers aware of “the teaching continuum” and how do they operationalize it with...
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