Moving to deep and transformative learning
Professional development programmes at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)
Following the transformation from a Polytechnic to a University of Science and Technology, NUST recently introduced a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) as a transformative professional development programme both for its new and experienced lecturers to ensure excellence in teaching and learning. This article explores the views of the lecturers on the immediate impact of the PGCHE on their professional practice. Framed in the interpretive paradigm, the study adopted a qualitative approach. Data were collected through an open-ended qualitative questionnaire distributed to lecturers in the first four weeks of the programme and six months afterwards. The data were supported with an analysis of PGCHE participants’ reflective reports. The findings reveal positive outcomes of the PGCHE including among others, lecturers’ new insights gained on teaching and learning, the use of student-centred teaching, teaching students how to learn and reflective practice. Further, the PGCHE has broadened lecturers’ conceptions of teaching and learning, challenged their roles and expanded their repertoire of innovative active learning teaching strategies. The conclusion drawn is that the PGCHE is a powerful tool which is transforming lecturers’ conceptions about teaching and learning as well as their pedagogic skills to enhance their professional practice in robust ways that benefit student learning.