22 SES 04 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
During the last decades, higher education systems have been under rethinking and reforming in Europe (Bologna process) and in the United States (AAC 1985). The European modernisation agenda for universities creates contradictory tensions within the academic communities. Next to different developing processes concerning effectiveness, governance and funding there are demands to develop curricula and learning paths. Curricula should be developed towards high-quality learning outcomes, but at the same time it is underlined the goal to shorten and intensify the study times. However, higher education debate, policy formation and its practices in Europe have not been engaged with scientific discourse concerning curriculum (Barnett & Coate 2004; Trowler 2005). The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the different meanings of curriculum in contemporary higher education. Particulary, we are interested in university members' conceptions of curriculum development in light of modernisation agenda and curriculum theories.
Understanding curriculum is ambiguous within the academic communities. In common discussion individuals use the conception of curriculum referring to an administrative document. Curriculum emphasising knowledge and skills to be reached represent a narrow interpretation of curriculum. The wider interpretation sees curriculum as an intentional and dynamic process, revealing the values, beliefs and principles in relation to learning, understanding, knowledge and disciplines, and the cultural and political purposes of the education. (e.g. Barnett & Coate 2004; Pinar 1995.) In this paper, we apply the wider pespective to discuss what kind of norms, traditions and cultures there are in the background of curriculum developing in higher education (see also Margolis 2001; Matus & McCarthy 2003; Smith 2003). The question focusing on this paper is as follows: What kind of conceptions do the members of university community have about the curriculum in higher education?
The on-going research is carried out with a phenomenographical approach. The aim of the analysis is to constitute not just a set of different meanings of curriculum, but find a logically inclusive structure relating the different meanings the informants give to the theory and practice of curriculum. Behind this viewpoint is the ontological assumption, that as researchers we can only grasp reality as experienced and understood by people. We interpret the meanings as factors that guide university teachers’ orientation on academic teaching, reasoning and processing, as well as students' orientation on academic learning (e.g. Marton & Booth, 1997).
Association of American Colleges. 1985. Intergrity in the College Curriculum: A Report to the Academic Community. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges. Barnett, R. & Coate, K. 2004. Engaging the Curriculum in Higher Education. Berkshire, GBR: McGraw-Hill Education. Matus, C. & McCarthy, C. 2003. The Triumph of Multiplicity and the Carnival of Difference: Curriculum Dilemmas in the Age of Postcolonialism and Globalization. In W.F. Pinar (ed.) International Handbook of Curriculum Research. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 73-82. Margolis, E. (ed.) 2001. The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education. New York & London: Routledge. Marton, F. 1994. Phenomenography. In T. Husén & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford: Pergamon, 4424 – 4429 http://www.ped.gu.se/biorn/phgraph/civil/main/1res.appr.html [11.10.2009]. Marton, F & Booth, S. 1997. Learning and Awareness. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. Pinar, W.F., Reynolds, W.M., Slattery, P. & Taubman, P.M. 1995. Understanding Curriculum. An Introduction to the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Smith, D.G. 2003. Curriculum and Teaching Face Globalization. In W.F. Pinar (ed.) International Handbook of ´Curriculum Research. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 35-51. Trowler, P.R. 2005. A Sociology of Teaching, Learning and Enhancement: Improving Practices in Higher Education. Papers: revista de sosiolocia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament des Sociologia) 76, 13-32. Åkerlind, G. S. 2005. Variation and Commonality in Phenomenographic Research Methods. Higher Education Research and Development 24, (4), 321–334.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.