Senior Management Perceptions of Staff Development Provision in Further Education Colleges in Wales

  • M. Mundy

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The primary purpose of the research is data generation relating to management perceptions of staff development provision in Welsh FE institutions, with the subsidiary aim of identifying weaknesses and omissions in provision and suggesting methods for effecting improvements.

    After presenting an overview of factors contributing to the growth of staff development provision in FE (chapter 1), the current 'state of the art' is determined by an examination of relevant literature,(chapter 2). Four major themes are identified and employed as research guides and parameters - staff development policies, methods of needs analysis, approaches to provision and evaluation.

    The research methodology generates data of both a nomothetic and ideographic nature by means of pilot studies, questionnaire survey, case studies involving interviews and repertory grids and the design and testing of a staff development model, (Chapter 3).

    The investigation proceeds in four stages - a preliminary survey which assesses the accuracy of perceptions derived from the literature survey; a general survey of Welsh FE colleges by means of questionnaire analysis; the conducting of case studies in which college managers' perceptions are examined by interview and completion of repertory grids; the design and testing of a practical effective staff development model which focuses on specific weaknesses and omissions identified by the research, (Chapters 4,5,6,7 and 8).

    It is found, (Chapter 9), that current provision shows only modest advances when compared with staff development theory and practice highlighted in the literature. In particular college policies, needs analysis systems, approaches to provision are quite rudimentary and inappropriate, with systematic evaluation of provision non-existent. It is also found that deficiencies in practice are matched by similar deficiencies in the manner in which current staff development provision is perceived by managers, as indicated by the interviews and repertory grid analyses.

    It is further found that a staff development model can be a useful tool for improving the understanding and planning of staff development and that it is possible to conduct a meaningful and productive evaluation of a college's provision by means of a practical effective model, having as its focus the principle of holistic evaluation.
    Date of AwardMay 1989
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Polytechnic of Wales

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