As the first University in Norway, the University of Bergen, has announced a system for rewarding and recognising effort and quality in teaching. Teachers at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences now have the opportunity to get their pedagogical competence and efforts evaluated for the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP). The distinction is awarded to teachers that can document a systematic effort to develop their teaching and student learning, and that contribute to a scholarly and collegial teacher culture. Those awarded with the status as ETP becomes a member of the Faculty’s Pedagogical Academy, and will also get a rise in salary. The system is described in more detail here (Norwegian).
bioCEED has had a clear aim to incorporate teaching efforts in staff reward systems, and has been heavily involved in developing UiBs award system for teaching and learning. The Centre is pleased to see that the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences are willing to invest in such a system, and increase status and visibility of efforts for quality teaching and learning.
The ETP system does not replace other systems for career promotion or educational quality assurance and development, but represents a new way of acknowledging quality teaching and learning efforts. By awarding especially qualified and engaged teachers, the Faculty signals that student learning and quality education is a prioritized area. For the individual teacher the system represents an opportunity to get quality work and pedagogical competence assessed and acknowledged.
The criteria for being awarded the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner has been carefully developed by a group of teachers, pedagogical experts and educational leaders to ensure that the status rewards excellence in teaching and learning. Four main points are emphasised in the criteria:
- Focus on student learning
- Clear development over time
- A scholarly approach
- A collegial practice and attitude
UiB was inspired by, and modelled the ETP system, after the Pedagogical Academy at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University (LTH). Several other Norwegian Universities, like NTNU and UiT are now developing similar systems for recognising pedagogical competence.