A recent article in the Journal Studies for the Learning Society points towards an interesting shift in the ideals of would be teachers and current teachers at universities.
Before having any teaching experience, university lecturers pointed out the necessity of having excellent knowledge of the subject was the most significant factor, which is in accordance with earlier investigations.
Hunger for knowledge
Teaching experience not only has a defining impact on the ideal image of a university teacher but is also the initial agent of change of professional identity. While inexperienced university teachers ranked knowledge of the subject as the most highly evaluated characteristics then experienced teachers give greater importance to growth of teaching experience, didactic knowledge and skills.
The low ranking of the characteristic of excellent knowledge of the subject in the 'now' ideal does not infer that experienced university teachers would regard knowledge of the subject as insignificant. While teaching, a need is felt for a broader world outlook, which helps establish new and interesting associations for better teaching of the subject, and coping with the teaching process may give the teacher a feeling of satisfaction.
Top teacher and top scientist
Based on the participants' responses, in the course of accumulating teaching experience, university teachers become increasingly aware that to be a good teacher one does not need to be a top scientist in one's field. Being adequately competent in the subject and keeping abreast with world scientific achievements in the field are sufficient. Indeed, since university teachers cannot know everything, they need to acquire alternative methods in order to more qualitatively transmit the existing knowledge.