Does PhD Qualification Improve Pedagogical Competence? A Study on Teaching and Training in Higher Education

Okolie, U. C., Igwe, P. A., Nwajiuba, C. A , Mlanga, S., Binuomote, M. O., Nwosu, H. and Ogbaekirigwe, C. (2020) Does PhD Qualification Improve Pedagogical Competence? A Study on Teaching and Training in Higher Education. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 12 (5). pp. 1233-1250. ISSN 2050-7003

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Purpose: There has been much debate in recent times about the factors that improve the quality of teaching in higher education (HE) institutions. This has been especially fuelled by the increasing importance attached to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualification. To fill the existing gap in the current literature in this regard, this study aims to investigate whether HE teachers (lecturers) who undergo pedagogical training (PT) in addition to obtaining PhD qualification possess higher knowledge and pedagogical competencies (PCs) than those that relied only on having PhD qualification without further teaching qualifications.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Drawing upon data collected through a structured questionnaire administered to 1174 Nigerian HE teachers in various disciplines from 39 HE institutions, in addition to two focus groups; the study adopts a mixed methods research. The quantitative data were analyzed descriptively while qualitatively data were coded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically.

Findings – This article proposes that teachers who undergo PT in addition to obtaining PhD tend to have more PCs and perform better than those that have not undergone any form of PT. Also, it found a statistically significant difference between PCs of HE teachers who have undergone PT in addition to PhD qualification from those without PT. The implication is that teachers who have undergone PT are more effective in facilitating teaching and learning than those who have not completed PT.

Research Limitations/Implications: Despite the merits of the mixed research method, a major limitation of this study is the failure to compare students’ achievements or successes based on the two distinct samples. However, the limitations create opportunities for further studies into the subject matter.

Originality/Value – This study is timely, given that Nigeria (like many African countries) has a low quality HE system and low graduate outcomes (related to knowledge, employability, and skills). More so, research into pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and practices are rare or non-existent in the literature related to Nigeria and other African countries’ HE system.

Keywords:Pedagogical Competencies, Pedagogical Knowledge, Higher Education Teachers, PhD Qualification
Subjects:X Education > X151 Training Teachers - Coaching
X Education > X100 Training Teachers
X Education > X142 Training Teachers - Higher Education
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:40091
Deposited On:12 Mar 2020 12:27

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