About the Journal
Postgraduate researchers (PGRs) often play essential roles providing tuition to students. However, PGRs occupy a liminal space between ‘staff’ and ‘student’. They often lack access and connections to wider institutional, professional, and collegiate opportunities. Conversely, many PGRs who teach who do take up such opportunities develop sophisticated and innovative pedagogies and educational philosophies. Others reflect thoughtfully on the successes and failures of their teaching practice at the coalface. There are few opportunities for PGRs to share these experienc es with each other, especially across disciplines, or the wider community of practice.
As part of the Warwick PTC, we launched a pilot edition of a Journal of PGR Pedagogic Practice in October 2021. A second volume will be published with a new editorial team in October 2022. While the journal’s scope in the short-term is anticipated to be semi-formal, there is scope in future to develop a formal peer-review process.
Academic research has noted that the self-efficacy of PGRs who teach declines after initial training has concluded. Other research has stressed the importance of peer-learning, and of the importance of social support and networks of trust to facilitating learning in higher education. With this first edition of the journal, we plan to construct the fundamental architecture so that PGRs can begin to share their practice and evidence their ongoing commitment to their continuous professional development. We will initiate a constructive, cross-disciplinary dialogue to collectively raise the quality of teaching and enhance the outcomes of PGR experiences.
The journal will welcome short critical reflections or more substantial evidence-based research from all PGRs and other early career researchers who teach in any capacity in any discipline at Warwick and beyond, and those engaged in supporting the professional development of PGRs. It will invite contributions covering the role of PGRs in traditional seminar teaching and lecturing but also practical laboratories demonstrations and analytical teaching roles. Whilst demonstrators may feel they are just ‘guiding’ students, often innovative pedagogies are at play and their contributions to a wider interdisciplinary discussion are invaluable. Additionally, the journal welcomes entries from those involved in managing innovative pedagogies such as student-led research projects, new teaching interventions, or the experience of continuous professional development as a PGR who teaches. It will welcome stories of success but perhaps more so stories of failure or adaptation.
The journal will provide opportunities to consider issue such as:
Is there a unique PGR pedagogy? What is distinctive about the contributions that PGRs who teach make to university communities and to student learning?
What challenges do PGRs face in preparing, designing, and delivering their teaching?
What does it mean for PGRs to foster diverse and inclusive learning environments? What role can PGRs play in removing academic barriers for students with learning difficulties, or addressing issues such as unconscious biases?
What can PGRs from different disciplines and pedagogic traditions learn from one another?
How can PGRs best make use of technology enhanced learning in a blended ‘digital age’?
How are the work and wellbeing of PGRs best supported by their institutions and more widely?
Most immediately, what unique ‘pandemic pedagogies’ have emerged? How can PGRs consolidate the benefits of these experiences once universities pivot back to face-to-face teaching and learning, and what challenges still need to be overcome?