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Designing a professional development programme to support the enhancement of the emotion-cognition partnership in teaching and learning in Higher Education.

IRVING-WALTON, JOANNE,LOUISE (2024) Designing a professional development programme to support the enhancement of the emotion-cognition partnership in teaching and learning in Higher Education. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 13 March 2027.


The relationship between emotions and the quality of thinking has been identified as a pivotal, but frequently avoided, aspect of learning and teaching within higher education. This project has developed a practical toolkit and professional development programme to support academic staff to explicitly consider the role of emotions within their teaching in a way that enhances the quality of productive thought.

To achieve this, a three-stage educational design research approach has been adopted. Firstly, the existing conceptions of academics around the role of emotions within teaching, and their roles more widely, were explored (22 interviews and 312 surveyed). Secondly, a three-stage iterative design process was undertaken to develop a professional training programme and finally, the output of this design process was tested and evaluated with a group of 45 academic staff from a range of discipline areas.

The professional development approach presented is designed to actively support teachers in higher education to autonomously embed approaches to support the development of the emotion-cognition partnership within multiple aspects of their practice. The need to nuance strategies to the context of the subject, organisation and the priorities of the individual was considered within the design as was the emotional labour inherent within academic roles.

Evaluation of the professional training demonstrated that it was successful in its goals with high levels of satisfaction reported in relation to the training content (97%) and application to practice (87%) noted by participants. A movement from an unconscious, reactive and intuitive approach to emotions within teaching, to one that is more conscious and planned in nature, was also revealed. It is suggested that an explicit focus on the interactions between emotions and thinking within higher education may provide an effective frame for academics and students working within increasingly complex institutional structures; this frame may help to integrate, define, link, and delineate aspects of practice within multifaceted HE environments, making the journeys and experiences of students and of staff smoother and more rewarding in practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:Emotion, cognition, affect, higher education, learning and teaching, professional development, educational design research
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 Jan 2024 08:47

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