Voices from within: Teaching in higher education as a moral practice

Fitzmaurice, M. (2008) Voices from within: Teaching in higher education as a moral practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 13 (3). pp. 341-352. ISSN 13562517 (ISSN)


This paper explores the concept of good teaching and discusses lecturers' beliefs about what constitutes good teaching in higher education. The paper draws on documentary material in the form of philosophy of teaching statements written by lecturers in higher education. Thematic analysis is used to examine the philosophy statements and the analysis of the data reveals that for academic staff, the moral stances of honesty, respect, responsibility, care and compassion are fundamental to good teaching. The results do not support a narrow view of teaching focused on strategies and technical knowledge, but shows evidence of academics engaging strongly with the values base of their work as teachers. The voices of the academic staff as captured in their philosophy statements are cognisant of the moral purpose of teaching and speak powerfully to a practice that is responsible and effective. Both dispositions are important in terms of teaching and the challenge is to integrate the two concepts in professional development.

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