Innovation Of Education At Higher Education Institutions - The Contribution Of Centres Of Excellence For Teaching And Learning
Andrea Kottmann is a PhD-student at KiTeS (section Knowledge, Transformation & Society) at the faculty Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences. Promotors are prof.dr. K. Schildkamp (ELAN) and prof.dr. B.J.R. van der Meulen (KiTeS).
Centres of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL) aim to support the innovation in teaching and learning activities in higher education institutions. These centres can be defined as innovation hubs that engage in improvement and development of teaching skills, the research-based development of educational innovations and the dissemination of educational innovations and knowledge in their higher education institutions. In Europe, several countries – including the Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom – provided funding to higher education institutions to establish CETLs. It was expected that these centres and their excellent educational innovations would stimulate large-scale changes in education at institutional and national levels.
The thesis investigates the contribution of CETLs to educational change at their host institutions. It approaches the CETLs and their change logic from three perspectives. First, it investigates how the CETLs have been designed and embedded in their institutions and how this has affected their ability to reach out and engage teachers in their work. Second, it analyses how teachers have used the educational innovations of the CETLs and how factors such as teacher motivation, the dissemination activities of the CETL and institutional support have influenced this. Third, it investigated the extent to which CETLs were able to stimulate organisational learning processes in higher education institutions leading to large-scale educational change. This analysis compared two types of CETLs and focused in particular on which organisational factors facilitated or hindered organisational learning processes.
The results show that CETL were able to raise awareness of teaching and learning activities and stimulated changes of teaching practice among some of the participating teachers or communities of practice. However, large-scale changes of education were rarely realised as there were only a few organisational structures to promote educational innovations within collective sense-making processes in the universities.
The thesis is based on a rich database, including seven in-depth case studies of CETLs at German, Norwegian and British universities and a survey of all teachers at Norwegian public higher education institutions.