Teacher Dilemmas

The journal article was called ‘Teacher dilemmas in challenging students in higher education’. The article considered the dilemmas teachers come across when challenging students which they used to develop a model of dilemma analysis.

The paper raised interesting reflective thoughts around our own teaching and interactions and the group thought it would be interesting to consider the characteristics of learners in the Faculty. We know there is a dilemma in advancing understanding and tension between student satisfaction versus challenge and enjoyment as well as how we motivate learners. In addition, the group thought it would be interesting to explore what the word ‘challenge’ meant in a wider context – those who attended the pedagogy journal club came with their own preconceptions.

We thought it would be interesting to have support for staff to discuss the challenges and potential dilemmas and how these could be managed inclusively but would question the wide spread applicability of the dilemma analysis instrument and the methods used to select the survey participants i.e. ‘experience teachers’ (quality versus years of teaching).

Ideally we had hoped the paper would generate a tool set to support teachers in decision making when they have dilemmas. We discussed the flow theory and recommend further reading on this in developing these concepts further.

A helpful analogy when considering the dilemmas which teachers may face could be that of a PE teacher/coach. They will have a number of participants on the track – some that want to be there and some that don’t. Finding ways to motivate will be the key thing to consider for the former group but for the latter the dilemma will be how much to challenge them – how many laps, how fast etc – and this will vary student to student.

Continue the conversation through our Yammer Pedagogy Journal Club.