4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), Madrid, Spain, 14 - 16 November 2011, pp.2933-2938 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Madrid
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.2933-2938
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Possible differences in teaching approaches to university teaching at the disciplines address that faculty members' conceptions of teaching should be explored within specific disciplines in order to develop institutional opportunities for improving teaching and learning [1]. Young faculty members' conceptions are important in order to understand how these conceptions are formed and how they could be targeted in faculty training programs for improving university teaching. Therefore, this study explored the young engineering faculty members' conceptions of teaching. Six young engineering faculty members (three female and three male) were interviewed about their views regarding teaching in their fields, departments' trends about teaching, and university context in general. Specifically, the influence of the nature of the knowledge they taught, the institutional contexts, previous experiences and the other responsibilities they had for their jobs on their teaching conceptions were explored. Findings revealed that young engineering faculty had already established teaching conceptions based on their previous experiences and the difficulties they had during their undergraduate education. Faculty members whom they addressed as effective teachers had a considerable influence on their teaching conceptions. Their conceptions were influenced by the nature of the knowledge they taught as they focused on explaining the major concepts, clarifying the important points, and placing the concepts within an application context. They were not allowed to decide on the teaching content and assessment practices in crowded departments where courses were taught in teams. Yet, they struggled with preparing assessment tasks and were not sure in their effectiveness. Elements of effective classes included faculty member's and students' interest on the concepts, focus on fundamental issues and mistakes, applications, and student participation. Findings addressed that the pressure of research requirements for tenure and the teaching load might be limiting them in managing their efforts and resources in planning for teaching and developing new conceptions.