22 SES 08 A, Paper Session
The European Higher Education Area has been in turmoil for some time. The signing of the joint declaration of the European education ministers in Bologna in 1999 set a formal framework and an important point of reference, the impulses of which have triggered momentous dynamics and requirement for new actions. Outcome orientation in the study design, digitalization tendencies, coordination and matching for modules, accreditation of course developments, team teaching or university-wide profiling efforts indicate the new state of the art of transparent and coherent teaching practice (see Vettori / Gover 2020). Said it pointed, individual teachers traditionally offered more or less directly what they identified as particularly interesting or relevant to the students from their research. They were „loosely coupled“ (see Weick 1976) to one another or within the university and had to orientate themselves to a comparatively reduced extent on curricula worked out with colleagues in order to jointly ensure an adequate outcome for the students.
Therefore, it can be assumed that the intended professionalization of higher education teaching (see Gaebel / Zhang 2018), is supposed to go hand in hand with new forms of institutionalized action practice. A changed relevance of working together in the field of university teaching (see Klages 2018) respectively new forms of cooperative coexistence, in the sense of orientation towards a common purpose, have not been followed profoundly by any explicit, empirically based discussion and theoretical classification of this practice.
This finding is to be investigated in this contribution. For this purpose, the relevance of cooperative teaching that is currently recorded is shown using a programmatically and empirically founded derivation and therefore conceptually formulated in such a way that common action by teachers can explicitly be understood as an educational action. A practice theoretical perspective is then used to design a specific empirical access to this practice, with refers to founded experience in the academic field (see Schatzki / Knorr-Cetina / von Savigny 2001). Understanding teaching as a form of practice provides a methodological framework that suggests reconstructing the context of action as a collectivity, both in its result as a product and in its execution as a process. Here, as teachers work with one another, a collective pattern is contoured that they form as a social whole or, speaking with the sociologist Elias (1970), as a figuration.
The research project as a whole, follows the intended connection between educational theory development and educational professionalism in university teaching (see Klages 2016). Conceived as a cumulative dissertation project, the present research is offered for discussion in its description of the problem, the research methodological perspective and using an empirical excerpt for illustration.
With a practice theoretical perspective of the investigation of cooperative teaching processes at universities or the figuration of faculty, the research focus is directed towards a quasi-ethnological look at the micro-logic of social processing (see Reckwitz 2003). With this methodological perspective, it is about the elaboration of modes of a collective production of meaning and thus with a special focus on the constitution of professional references to one another, in the sense of work-sharing discourses. Which form this collectivity is decided by the way in which those involved in the discourse interactively refer to one another in a mutual increase and support, in diametrical opposition to one another, in the commentary supplementation or also in systematic appropriation the other - different forms of fundamental sociality find their expression (see Bohnsack / Przyborski 2010) Based on the heuristics of the documentary method Bohnsack (2017), the manner of expressions as well as the topics that are significant for those involved are identified, looked at from an analytical point of view. Through the analysis of the conversation practice, shared or not shared orientations of the actors as well as their specific contents are reconstructed. For a differentiated presentation of such a figurative practice of a university teaching body, an insight into illustrative material from a curriculum in the context of the reaccreditation of a course is shown below. The objects of analysis are meaningful excerpts from the transcription of spoken interactions of a kick-off workshop for this process. Eleven lecturers from various disciplinary areas of the university were involved, as well as external moderators with the strategic goal of developing task-oriented curricula for university education.
The illustrative material from the field of university teaching shows that the question of how to deal with knowledge is viewed controversially by the actors. While the moderators aimed to demand knowledge that could be organized in the curriculum, a varying understanding of knowledge emerged for the teachers: At a certain point, they positioned themselves against a positivistic understanding of communicable knowledge. In doing so, they implicitly refer to a construct of knowledge, which can be understood through university knowledge cultures (see Rustemeyer 2005), that, in addition to the systematic handling of knowledge, primarily intends to deal with not-knowing. Research cultivates this limitation by explicitly looking for not-knowing as the interesting side of knowledge. Could the universities of excellence stand for this new idea, in which knowledge is produced particularly efficiently and not-knowing becomes illegitimate? New governance regimes based on managerial approaches, which are now widely found in universities, tend to compete with corporate self-organization in the mode of academic corporation. They demand greater accountability to external interest groups and are involved in distribution battles in various markets. With their efficiency-oriented mentality, they follow a “calculated ethos” (see Masschelein 2016). However, both orientations can be discussed as with the transformative impetus towards the teaching body. Its figuration practice, conceptually understood as cooperation and corporation, marks an essential difference: While cooperation tends to be interpreted under the maxim of an increase in rationality and performance in economic-administrative terms, the principle of corporation guides a mode in which academic structuring premises dominate which are not necessarily follow market-like or bureaucratic logic. While just a few decades ago the gradual break-up of such corporatist structures at universities represented a liberation and participation-oriented movement, the return to this could meanwhile be from a cunderstood as a renewed emancipatory movement (see Maffesoli 2014).
Bohnsack, R. (2017): Konjunktiver Erfahrungsraum, Regel und Organisation. In: Vogd, W./Amling, S. (Hrsg.): Dokumentarische Organisationsforschung. Perspektiven der praxeologischen Wissenssoziologie. Opladen: Barbara Budrich, p. 233-259. Bohnsack, R. / Przyborski, A. (2010): Diskursorganisation, Gesprächsanalyse und die Methode der Gruppendiskussion. In: Bohnsack, R./ Przyborski, A./ Schäffer, B. (Hrsg.): Gruppendiskussionsverfahren in der Forschungspraxis. Opladen & Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich, p. 233-248. Elias, N. (1970): Was ist Soziologie? Weinheim: Juventa. Gaebel, M. / Zhang, Th. (2018): Trends 2018: Learning and teaching in the European Higher Education Area. European University Association Report. https://www.eua.eu/resources/publications/757:trends-2018-learning-and-teaching-in-the-european-higher-education-area.html Klages, B. (2018): Kooperationen von Hochschullehrenden. Eine praxeologisch-wissenssoziologische Perspektive auf Bedeutungen hochschuldidaktischer Vielstimmigkeit. In: Schaper, N. & Szczyrba, B. (Hrsg.): Forschungsformate zur evidenzbasierten Fundierung hochschuldidaktischen Handelns. Köln: Cologne Open Science, p. 249-268. Klages, B. (2016): Hochschulische Lehrkörper. Pädagogisierte Orientierungen in der Ausgestaltung von Studium und Lehre. In: Zierer, K./ Reinmann, G./ Gläser-Zikuda, M./ Keller-Schneider, M. (Hrsg.): Allgemeine Didaktik und Hochschule. Jahrbuch für Allgemeine Didaktik. Hohengehren: Schneider Verlag, p. 81-99. Vettori, O. / Gover, A. (2020): Curriculum design: Thematic Peer Group Report European University Association. https://eua.eu/resources/publications/919:curriculum-design.html Maffesoli, M. (2014): Die Zeit kehrt wieder. Berlin: Matthes & Seitz. Masschelein, J. (2016). Akademische Freiheit und das Prinzip „Schule“. Öffentliche Begegnungsorte als Voraussetzung für Autonomie. die hochschule, 2, p. 37-53. Reckwitz, A. (2003): Grundelemente einer Theorie sozialer Praktiken. Eine sozialtheoretische Perspektive. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 32, 4, p. 282–301. Rustemeyer, D. (2005): Universitäre Wissenskulturen. In U. Teichler / R. Tippelt. (Hrsg.), Hochschullandschaft im Wandel. ZfPäd. Beiheft; 50: Weinheim 2005, S. 62-75. Schatzki, T. / Knorr-Cetina, K. / von Savigny, E. (Hrsg.) (2001): The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. New York/London: Routledge. Weick, K.E. (1976): Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems. In: Administrative Science Quarterly, 21, p. 1-19.
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