This article examines the professional development of new Higher Education teachers using the analytical framework of communities of practice theory. Contextualized within the embryonic Higher Education national framework of professional teaching standards (NFPTS), it compares and contrasts centralized professional development approaches with those decentralized in what Malcolm and Zukas refer to as departmental ‘situated pedagogy’. The discussion then problematizes such situated approaches by highlighting the difficulties of ‘accounting for change’ in localized departmental communities of practice. By employing a formative taxonomy of professional development practice for new Higher Education teachers, the paper concludes by emphasizing the need to maintain ‘cross-sector’ learning between centralized and decentralized communities of practice in the pursuit of teaching and learning improvement and innovation
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