Faculty Rewards and Education Portfolios: A Report on Faculty Perceptions
Many schools in the developed world have adopted portfolios in an attempt to address the scholarship of teaching. This is because of the atmosphere of “publish or perish” which pervades academia. Buying off teaching obligations with research dollars is an increasingly pervasive practice in many institutions and Faculty caught up in this system have generally gone along with it, focusing on the scholarship of discovery at the expense of the scholarship of integration, application, and teaching - little of which carries the financial consequence or peer recognition of sponsored research.1 Add to this the fact that many medical schools world wide have adopted teacher- intensive, integrated hybrid PBL curricula and the result is frustrated teachers who undergo occupational burnout. An ideal faculty reward system should support the priorities and mission of the institution e.g. if improving the quality of teaching and learning is a high priority, then the tenure, promotion, and merit pay system must support quality efforts to redesign the curriculum, improve courses, and increase the effectiveness of teaching.2 Education Portfolios are not widely used in this part of the world, and few Faculty have even heard of the term “Education Scholarship”. This study is a preliminary report on perception of the faculty rewards in place in their institution and their familiarity with the concept of education scholarship. A questionnaire was posted to Faculty of medical schools in Malaysia and also distributed to staff of the National University of Singapore, during an international conference. A total of 54 responses were collected from six institutions (14 were unidentified); representing a response rate of about twenty per cent. Thirty two were teaching in a hybrid curriculum; and 26 were clinical teachers. Thirty three had been in their respective institutions for more than three years.
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