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higher education aptitudes attitudes professional development

Lecturers’ Aptitudes, Attitudes and Professional Development in Higher Education at University of Cuenca

Guillermo Pacheco , María-Isabel Espinoza , Sandra Cabrera-Arias , Patricio Cabrera-Tenecela

Continuous changes in social demand and development provide an acute and continuous pressure on universities. The question is whether higher education.

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Continuous changes in social demand and development provide an acute and continuous pressure on universities. The question is whether higher education institutions (HEI) in Ecuador deliver graduates with the competences to provide timely economic, ecological, and sustainable solutions. Additionally, HEIs should prepare graduates to find employment in a society characterized by greater uncertainty, extensive use of information technology, speed, risk, complexity and interdisciplinary work. To face this challenge, universities need lecturers to possess a mix of aptitudes, attitudes, and professional development in teaching, research, and services. Unfortunately, knowledge is sparse about the readiness of their pupils to function effectively in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment. Accordingly, this study uses an explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach to explore the impact of lecturers’ aptitudes, attitudes, and professional development on teaching and student learning at the University of Cuenca. Lecturers’ perceptions about their aptitudes and their attitudes are higher than the students’ perceptions. Faculty representatives believe that untenured lecturers have a better attitude and aptitude than the tenured lecturers. A third part of lecturers have achieved one of the required criteria in research development. Students from biological sciences are more satisfied with their lecturers and the competence development that they receive than the students from social sciences or engineering. Understanding the likely implication of the variables, aptitudes, attitudes and professional development, on the quality of teaching and learning is fundamental for the design and carrying out of educational reforms.

Keywords: Higher education, aptitudes, attitudes, professional development.

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