22 SES 01 D, Employability and Societal Value of Higher Education
The purpose of this paper is to better understand the links between research and teaching in Teacher Education and its contribution to the development of high level skills and expertise required by graduate employees in the knowledge society.
The last few years have significantly changed the relation between knowledge and society. Until recently, much of the knowledge produced in higher education institutions has been decontextualized from societal demands (Santos, 2005). It may be argued that the established approach to teaching in the university does not adequately prepare students with the skills they need to flourish in both personal and professional achievement within the knowledge society. They graduate without the skills required to continue learning throughout life, in contexts of change and continuous innovation (Morgado, 2009).
In this context, higher education cannot be content with transmitting knowledge but must be challenged to create it, promoting the relationship between teaching and research (Zabalza, 2004). The concern with training citizens with social and professional skills for the twenty-first century highlights the relationship between the field of education and the field of research. This leads us to consider current thinking, research evidence and practice in relation to the research teaching nexus and what further research is needed to extend understanding of how it relates to employability and relevant graduate skills in different professional fields.
The nature of the relationship between teaching and research may be influenced by the subject discipline or professional field, by the level of education, and also by the agency of individuals concerned (Taylor, 2008). The role that students play in the teaching learning process may be informed by different models of the research teaching nexus (see Willcoxson et al., 2011; Visser‐Wijnveen et al., 2010; Healey & Jenkins, 2006, Robertson, 2007).
Research and theory on the research-teaching nexus (RT Nexus) has mainly consisted of studies across research-intensive universities based on the Humboldt tradition (Robertson, 2007). There is a need for research on the RT Nexus in new types of higher education institutions and in professional fields. In addition to the usual focus on students and academics, this research needs to consider the perspectives of other stakeholders including experienced practitioners, employers and professional bodies in the field. It seems timely to extend the nexus to become the Research-Teaching Knowledge Exchange Nexus (RTKE Nexus) so that it acknowledges the use of research evidence and the possible creation of knowledge beyond the confines of the university (Boyd and Smith 2014).
The main objective of this paper is to consider the perspectives of key stakeholders in the professional field of Teaching and Teacher Education towards the meaning and importance of research. These stakeholders include academics, student teachers and school teachers, as well as teachers’ professional bodies and those universities providing teacher education and development programmes.
Even though Teacher Education is a relatively new academic discipline within higher education, it needs to respond to the demands for research that challenge more traditional disciplines, especially since research is viewed as a fundamental feature of the professional identity and work of academics. Also, higher education based teacher education claims strong partnerships with employers and professional bodies and this creates a particular focus on knowledge exchange activity for students as well as academics. For these reasons we believe that Teacher Education is a useful professional field in which to investigate the research-teaching knowledge exchange nexus.
Boyd, P. & Harris, K. (2010). Becoming a university lecturer in teacher education: expert school teachers reconstructing their pedagogy and identity. Professional Development in Education, 36 (1-2), 9-24. Boyd, P. & Smith, C. (2014). The contemporary academic: orientation towards research work and researcher identity of higher education lecturers in the health professions. Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 0.1080/03075079.2014.943657 Healey, M. & Jenkins, A. (2006). Strengthening the Teaching-Research Linkage in Undergraduate Courses and Programs‘. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 107, 45-55. Lessard-Hébert, M., Goyette, G., & Boutin, G. (1994). Investigação Qualitativa - Fundamentos e práticas. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget. Lopes, A., Boyd, P., Andrew, N., & Pereira, F. (2014). The research-teaching nexus in nurse and teacher education: contributions of an ecological approach to academic identities in professional fields. Higher Education, 68(2), 167-183. Morgado, J. C. (2009). Processo de Bolonha e Ensino Superior num Mundo Globalizado. Educação & Sociedade, 30(106), 37-62. Retirado em Maio de 2014 de http://www.scielo.br/pdf/es/v30n106/v30n106a03.pdf Robertson, J. (2007). Beyond the ‘research/teaching nexus’: Exploring the complexity of academic experience. Studies in Higher Education, 32(5), 541-556. Santos, B. S. (2005). A Universidade no Século XXI: Para uma Reforma Democrática e Emancipatória da Universidade. Educação Sociedade & Culturas, 23, 137–202. Taylor, J. (2008). The teaching-research nexus and the importance of context: a comparative study of England and Sweden. Compare, 38(1), 53-69. Underhill, C. & Olmsted, M. G. (2003). An experimental comparison of computer-mediated and face-to-face focus groups. Social Science Computer Review, 21, 506-512. Visser‐Wijnveen, G. J., Van Driel, J. H., Van der Rijst, R. M., Verloop, N. & Visser, A. (2010). The ideal research‐teaching nexus in the eyes of academics: building profiles. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(2), 195-210. Willcoxson, L., Manning, M. L., Johnston, N. & Gething, K. (2011). Enhancing the Research-Teaching Nexus: Building Teaching-Based Research from Research-Based Teaching. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23(1), 1-10. Zabalza, M. A. (2004). O ensino universitário: seu cenário e seus protagonistas. Porto Alegre: Artmed.
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