Theorising about the Reasons for Which Professors Innovate in a University Strongly Committed to Research

Anne M. Walder


Universities are torn these days between teaching and research, particularly within research universities, leading me to probe the major reasons that motivate professors to develop innovative pedagogical projects within universities that are strongly committed to research. Thirty-two semi-structured interviews with professors at the University of Montreal, all of whom are widely known to their peers, enabled us to theorise seven action plans and three significant stages concerning the reasons for which professors innovate. In other words, the primary reasons which motivate professors in universities strongly committed to research to develop pedagogically innovative projects may be categorised into seven action plans, 1) Captivating, 2) Supporting, 3) Problem-solving, 4) Improving, 5) Re-adapting, 6) Communicating and 7) Creating, and can be theorised in three major phases, 1). Desire to establish a relationship of trust, 2). Intentionality to change and 3). Integration of the desire to change within human relationships. Thus, it is a question of the desire to establish a relationship of trust with the intention of captivating and supporting students, an intentionality to change in order to provide a solution and improvement, and about the integration of the desire to change within human relationships, with the aim of re-adapting through communication and creation.

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