CeUL, the Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching, will support the continuous professional development of teachers and promote pedagogical development throughout the University. The foundation is research on teaching and learning in higher education, and the primary operation includes courses and workshops for teachers. Introducing pedagogical development on the departments’ agenda is also a part of their work.

“The culture within the departments involves what is being valued, what is being talked about, and what matters. At research-intensive universities, the focus tends to be on research. This is obvious, but there is a risk that this happens at the expense of education,” says Klara Bolander Laksov, director of CeUL.

The first step in developing pedagogy is, she argues, to discuss pedagogical issues. The next step is to critically examine our own pedagogy and develop it based on the research on learning that is available at the University. We have to create a system where new teachers are given support to develop as teachers, and where more experienced teachers can both share their knowledge and be inspired by the new teachers’ ideas.

“Some departments are very active and run development projects. Then there are some where pedagogy is not spoken of at all. This may be due to a lack of time or resources, but also a traditional order of priority where research comes first,” says Klara Bolander Laksov.

One way CeUL works is through the “pedagogical ambassadors” who lead development projects at a dozen departments. Another is through a TV channel on the web, where topics relevant to university teachers are discussed and can serve as a basis for conversations on pedagogical development. The feeling that teaching is a lonely profession is a reflection that Klara Bolander Laksov has often encountered among university teachers.

What, then, should you do if you feel lonely as a teacher?

“Then you should seek out others with the same interests In order to maintain a high quality of teaching, teachers have to discuss their teaching philosophy and methods with their colleagues. One way is to attend workshops and take courses with us. Another is to find a mentor and a network. If you can find people to talk to within the department, that is very good. A small network can grow, which can eventually lead to changing the culture.”

Courses at CeUL

Professional Development 1 and 2 are the longest courses, each of which is worth 7.5 credits.

In addition to those, there are various short courses and workshops on topics such as creating a teaching portfolio, designing teaching using IT, writing, and pedagogical leadership.

The full selection of courses is available at www.su.se/ceul/utbildning