Requirements of a Tertiary Educator

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Requirements of a Tertiary Educator

"Tertiary educators in the 21st century are dual professionals with expertise in the workplace from their trade or profession and in the facilitation of learning. As team players they collaborate with others to ensure the best possible outcomes for all learners in their care and to work proactively in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to ensure success for Māori. Highly culturally competent, they exhibit Manaakitanga for all learners. This means they treat all learners with respect and kindness, making them feel welcome and cared for within the learning environment. These tertiary educators recognise and respect the multi-faceted diversity of their learners and seek to treat and value them as individuals.

Learning with these educators is challenging, exciting, supportive and purposeful. By no means least, it is fun. Above all, it is focussed on developing each learner’s capabilities to maximise their own potential and future opportunities. That learners achieve success on their programmes of study is only part of the goal for these educators: ensuring their learners are best equipped for the next steps in work or further study is, ultimately, more important.

Relevant work experience and contexts are fundamental to high quality vocational education. This means that professional practice as a tertiary educator is not bounded by either the limits of the educational organisation or by the qualifications offered. Emphasis is on achieving the best possible synergies between the world of education and the world of work in all the diverse forms of each.

Digital technologies are employed routinely as tools to support learning and provide access to relevant content in an organised way that suits the needs of the individual learner. Teaching and learning facilitation focuses on concepts, developing deeper understanding and the attributes that enhance learners’ employability. Learners are progressively equipped with the strategies to become confident in their studies, time-efficient and, progressively, more autonomous.

Twenty-first century tertiary educators are, in a very real sense, partners with their learners and negotiate the learning environment and opportunities with them. In particular these educators seek to recognise and build on the existing knowledge, strengths and skills of each learner and foster learning between peers. Their assessment strategies are designed to foster learning and build wherever possible on naturally occurring evidence. Such educators are highly skilled in actively managing any risk to learning. This means that they are not afraid to experiment alongside learners in order to foster innovative, creative and motivating learning opportunities and to learn alongside the learners in their care.

Highly professional tertiary educators are continually challenging themselves about their own practice and looking for continuing quality enhancement. They are critically self-reflective and undertake this self-reflection in a systematic and evidence-based way. Nor is their self-reflection limited to their education practice: they are also future-focussed in terms of their trade or profession. They are helping their learners prepare for an inevitably changing future."

Otago Polytechnic, (2012). Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education: Programme document. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Polytechnic.p 4 - 5.