Postgraduate Researchers who Teach: How can National Policy and the Structured PhD Centralise this Forgotten Tribe and Celebrate their Skills in Tackling some of the Current Challenges in Irish Higher Education?
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1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES, 1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
Some of the current challenges faced by Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) include financial constraints imposed by the economic downturn, the requirement to ‘teach more with less’, and the use of the knowledge based economy to drive economic stabilisation and recovery. HEIs have adopted a number of approaches to address these drivers of change including centralising the postgraduate research student who teaches. The role of these postgraduate research students is one that is not often highlighted within the fabric of the HEI; however, these transient researchers play two key roles: full-time researchers and novice educators. Centralising and celebrating the research skills of this ‘forgotten tribe’ can address some of the problems currently faced by the Irish higher education system. Postgraduate researchers are not, however, the panacea for all higher education ills. These researchers are primarily interested in research and additional teaching duties may distract from this core value. In order to maintain appropriate educational standards and to fully support these novice academics inclusion of suitable pedagogic training, as part of a structured PhD, is key. Apposite integration of trained and supported teaching postgraduates can benefit many key stakeholders; the undergraduate, the postgraduate and the HEI at large.
Ryan, B.J. (2015). How can national policy and the structured PhD Centralise this Forgotten Tribe and Celebrate their Skills in Tackling some of the current challenges in Irish higher-education? AISHE-J, 7, 1-13.