An Investigation into Experienced Expatriate Lecturers' Perceptions of Continuing Professional Development

Keith, Pauline Angela Francesca (2017). An Investigation into Experienced Expatriate Lecturers' Perceptions of Continuing Professional Development. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis investigated how thirteen experienced, expatriate lecturers in an institute of higher education, Middle Eastern University College (MEUC), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) perceived the continuing professional development (CPD) offered by their institute. I was motivated by the approach adopted by the institute towards the provision of CPD, an apparent lack of consultation with lecturers regarding their professional growth and comments from colleagues, to investigate personal and professional development. In particular, I wanted to determine how the institute’s approach to the provision of CPD influenced lecturers’ perceptions, beliefs and attitudes concerning institutionally provided CPD, so an interpretive study was selected. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain perceptions of, attitudes to and desire to engage with institutionally provided CPD. A further aim was to explore how participants’ tacit knowledge impacted on their perceptions and attitudes of CPD and whether this affected their attitude towards learning. The findings revealed three main themes. First, the mandatory nature, model and content of CPD affected participants’ perceptions of and engagement with CPD. Second, the CPD provided overlooked participants’ experience and tacit knowledge, impacting negatively on their views of CPD and professional identity. Finally, the specific profile of the participants, self-initiated expatriates, was revealed to be an important factor in lecturers’ CPD requirements and professional outlook, with implications for the development of existing theory in this area. Finally, a desire for targeted, personalised CPD was identified, specifically in the areas of pedagogy, professional inquiry and cultural awareness and intelligence.

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