This short paper reports from ongoing research at the National Centre for Research Methods into the pedagogy of advanced methods teaching. This work widens the focus of research from individual experiences of methods teaching to empirical evidence that bridges disciplines, schools of method and international contexts. Here we consider the relationship between pedagogic language and pedagogic competence, and how these relate to the development of pedagogical culture in methods teaching.
Across Europe increasing attention is being paid to the development of research capacity in Universities, government and industry. Spurred by the challenges posed by new forms of data, multiple archival digitization projects, central investments (such as Big Data Europe) and a push towards professionalization, the need to equip researchers with advanced (post graduate/postdoctoral) methods competencies is felt as never before.
In practice, this places emphasis on doctoral and postdoctoral training that focusses on the acquisition, maintenance and continuing development of transferable skills necessary for effective research across different contexts, rather than within the discrete boundaries of (for example) the doctoral project. This takes the form of the formalization of doctoral training connected to the Salzburg Principles (Kottmann, 2011) and short courses, high-profile international summer and winter schools  and online learning. In the UK, these efforts are supported by large government investments, such as the National Centre for Research Methods (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council).
Methods demand a unique mix of technical skills, procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding (Kilburn et al, 2015). However, despite seismic developments in doctoral training and capacity building, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK, Shulman, 1986) concerning how teachers answer the specific challenges of methods teaching is limited. This is exacerbated by a lack of pedagogical culture (Earley, 2014; Wagner et al, 2011) evidenced by lack of pedagogical research, networks and dialogue within the field (for example, expressed in cross-citation, events and other markers indicative of the exchange and development and critique of ideas). As a result, new methods teachers must rely on trial-and-error and immediate peers to develop their practice (Earley, 2014). To address these gaps, our ESRC-funded research at NCRM asks: How are advanced social research methods taught and learned? This invokes a central concern with making pedagogy visible. We contend that ‘pedagogy is hard to know’ (Nind et al., 2016), but that developing knowledge of how pedagogy is specified, enacted and experienced in practice (Nind et al., 2016) is essential developing PCK (Shulman, 1986) and with it, pedagogic culture.
To advance these goals our research is built upon four underlying principles. First that there is a need to develop the pedagogical culture around research methods. Second that there is benefit in identifying and deepening pedagogic content knowledge. Third that dialogue represents a particular pedagogic and methodological asset in the furthering of our research aims. Fourth that there is value in the use of explicit, shared pedagogy.
To this end, we have established meta-themes from our analysis that characterise methods teaching activities. In this paper we explore two key aspects of the research. Firstly, insights into methods teaching and pedagogy from the first wave of our analysis. Second, what these insights into methods teaching have to tell us about language and competence in the development of research methods more broadly.
 http://www.big-data-europe.eu  E.g. Digital Methods Institute Summer/Winter Schools (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), GESIS Summer School in Survey Methodology (Liebniz Institute, Germany), Winter School in Methods and Techniques (Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hungary), Methods@Manchester (University of Manchester, UK). Earley, M. (2014) A synthesis of the literature on research methods education, Teaching in Higher Education. 19 (3), 242-253. Galliers, R. D. and Huang, J. C. (2012) The teaching of qualitative methods in information systems: an explorative study utilizing learning theory. European Journal of Information Systems, 21, 119-134. doi: 10.1057/ejis.2011.44 Kottmann, A. (2011) Reform of doctoral training in Europe: A silent revolution? In J. Enders et al. (Eds) Reform of Higher Education in Europe. Rotterdam: Sense. Lewthwaite, S. and Nind, M. (2016) Teaching research methods in the social sciences: Expert perspectives on pedagogy and practice, British Journal of Educational Studies. 64, 413–430. doi: 10.1080/00071005.2016.1197882. Lucas, B. and G. Claxton. 2013. Pedagogic Leadership: Creating Cultures and Practices for Outstanding Vocational Learning. Winchester: 157 Group. Nind, M., Curtin, A., and Hall, K. (2016) Research methods for pedagogy. Bloomsbury: London. Nind, M., Kilburn, D. and Wiles, R. (2015) Using video and dialogue to generate pedagogic knowledge: teachers, learners and researchers reflecting together on the pedagogy of social research methods, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18 (5), 561-57. Shulman, L. (1986) Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15, 4-14. Wagner, C., M. Garner, and B. Kawulich. (2011) The state of the art of teaching research methods in the social sciences: towards a pedagogical culture. Studies in Higher Education 36, no. 1:75-88.
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