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Decentralised staff development roles in higher education

Smith, George Fenwick (1990) Decentralised staff development roles in higher education. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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The value of the role of the decentralised staff developer in higher education and of the alternative ways by which it might be fulfilled, has not been addressed or decided. Of the alternative models of staff development practice in higher education, product-orientation, prescription-orientation, processorientation, problem orientation and eclecticism, all but the latter are considered to have significant weaknesses. Similarly, the alternative models of staff development responsibility in higher education, 'management', 'shopfloor' and 'partnership', are considered to have weaknesses. It is hypothesised that the 'partnership' model, modified by decentralisation and eclectic in practice, offers a means for overcoming these weaknesses and promoting effective staff development. To test the hypothesis, a case study method was adopted which comprised participant observation, interviews, documentation and a survey. A sustained investigation was made of Birmingham Polytechnic with more limited inquiries at Brighton and Coventry Polytechnics. The results of the research provide some qualified support for the hypothesis. It was found that eclecticism was the only model of practice that was capable of facilitating extensive professional development. Decentralisation was found to be partially successful in promoting staff development albeit with limited integration, low staff response and uncertain expertise. Further research was considered necessary to refine the model further. It was concluded that eclectic decentralised staff development offers a model for higher education which can adequately meet the challenges facing professional development in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:52
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:26
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