About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2933 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

REPRESENTING TEACHING QUALITY IN UNIVERSITY-BASED PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ACCREDITATION

T. Purinton, G. Naguib, A. Aziz

American University in Cairo (EGYPT)
Accreditation serves as a peer-based quality control mechanism, much like the government-based mechanisms found in many countries throughout the world, but because it operates independently of government, it is assumed to-at least from a structural sense-provide universities with greater professional autonomy. In the classic professional sense, a professional (or a professionalized system) can only be judged adequately by an equal professional. So, while peer review of research and external review of tenure cases provide judgment on research quality of individual faculty, accreditation is intended to provide judgment on programmatic, teaching, and delivery quality within universities, colleges, schools, departments, and programs. All combined, these measures provide multiple dimensions of performance evaluation so to ensure that the institutional values of higher education are upheld and demonstrated publicly.

Unfortunately, in an era of higher education austerity across the world, accreditation has increasingly been targeted as a wasteful endeavor. Within specialized accreditation programs, in particular, the strong inclination of universities to forego accreditation may have intense repercussions for the professions, themselves. Without a peer review mechanism for the instructional and programming side of university-based professional education, programs will tend toward political/governmental oversight or market influence. In both cases, the purity of the knowledge and skill conveyed through a professionalized form of education will be in jeopardy.

Rather than taking a polarized perspective about specialized accreditation, this paper attempts to understand the center of the argument by examining a fundamental component of accreditation, the processes of professional education. In particular, we examine how specialized accreditation rewards teaching quality within programs, as classroom-based experiences comprise a significant amount of the actual experiences of students in such programs. The profession of teaching, especially in institutions of higher education, is under great pressure as identified through various policies, practices, economic realities, and measures throughout the world (i.e., reductions of tenure track faculty, new methods of content delivery, and so forth); if higher education, as an institution that transmits research and values through mostly classroom-based teaching, is to survive, the practice of teaching must be commensurately evaluated at the organizational level. Additionally, considering that peer review measures of research provide institutional evaluation for scholarship, accreditation agencies must begin to see themselves more as the vehicles for measurement of teaching, the other primary (and to tax- and tuition-payers, perhaps the most important) aim.

By examining, through a rigorous process of document analysis, the public representations of teaching practice of nine major professional specialized accrediting agencies, we conclude that the more prestigious the profession, the more focused on teaching quality the accreditation agency will be. This is good for professions such as medicine and law, and its ability to maintain independence from government and the market. But it is bad for semi-professions, such as primary/secondary teaching, nursing, and journalism. Specific recommendations are provided.
@InProceedings{PURINTON2012REP,
author = {Purinton, T. and Naguib, G. and Aziz, A.},
title = {REPRESENTING TEACHING QUALITY IN UNIVERSITY-BASED PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ACCREDITATION},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2933}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Purinton AU - G. Naguib AU - A. Aziz
TI - REPRESENTING TEACHING QUALITY IN UNIVERSITY-BASED PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ACCREDITATION
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 2933
EP - 2933
ER -
T. Purinton, G. Naguib, A. Aziz (2012) REPRESENTING TEACHING QUALITY IN UNIVERSITY-BASED PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ACCREDITATION, ICERI2012 Proceedings, p. 2933.
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