22 SES 01 D, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
The relationship between teaching and research touches the core of higher education (Clark, 1997). In the last decade there has been a growing debate about the relation between research and teaching in both university and non-university higher education (Brew, 2006; Elen & Verburgh, 2008; Griffiths, 2004). Pleas for strengthening the link between teaching and research or enhancing the integration of research into teaching are common. Brew (2006), for example, states that the integration of research into teaching can contribute to the development of competencies, such as inquiry skills, which are essential to function in the emerging knowledge society. For non-university higher education, which originally did not have a research mandate and where research is relatively new in comparison to the traditional universities, research might be an even more complex and sensitive issue (Kyvik & Skodvin, 2003).To fully understand the relationship between teaching and research, it is necessary to learn how lecturers conceive research, what they aim at by integrating research into teaching and how they integrate research in their actual educational practices (Brew, 2001; Robertson & Bond, 2001; Rowland, 1996)
This study builds on research about academics’ conceptions of research (e.g. Akerlind, 2008; Brew, 2001; Prosser, Martin, Trigwell, Ramsden, & Middleton, 2008; Visser-Wijnveen, 2009). Brew (2001) interviewed senior researchers in universities and identified four qualitatively different ways in which research is understood: trading, journey, layer and domino variation. These are differentiated according to (a) whether they have an external product orientation or an internal process orientation and (b) the extent to which the researchers’ personal concerns influence their conceptions of research: whether the researchers themselves are in the forefront of their awareness or whether they appear to be incidental to their awareness. Visser-Wijnveen (2009) interviewed by means of metaphors academics about their conceptions of research. She distinguished five categories of research: disclosing patterns, searching for patterns, explaining patterns, pointing out patterns, and creating patterns. These categories are similar to the categories identified by Brew (2001).
A major limitation of these studies is that they are highly individualized and mostly neglect the contextual features within which the different positions are taken. Past research mainly interviewed individual lecturers on their conceptions of research and their attempts to integrate research into teaching. In non-university higher education the situation is different. Lecturers often work in a context that is more negotiated at a group level. The idea of integrating research into teaching is not necessarily the immediate and self-evident consequence of lecturers doing research. The idea often stems from a decision made at the program level. Responsibles decide that for particular reasons research has to get integrated. Given that lecturers have to work within those boundaries, it is extremely interesting to get to know how lecturers alone and as a group deal with the nexus-challenge.
The present study is an attempt to explore this issue in two non-university higher education programs in which research integration into teaching was put forward as an important characteristic of the program.
Akerlind, G.S. (2008). An academic perspective on research and being a researcher: An integration of the literature. Studies in Higher Education, 33(1), 17-31. Brew, A. (2001). Conceptions of research: A phenomenographic study. Studies in Higher Education, 26(3), 271-285. Brew, A. (2006). Research and teaching. Beyond the divide. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Clark, B. R. (1997). The modern integration of research activities with teaching and learning. Journal of Higher Education, 68(3), 241-255. Elen, J., & Verburgh, A. (2008). Bologna in European research-intensive universities: Implications for bachelor and master programs. Antwerpen: Garant. Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research-teaching nexus: The case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education, 29(6), 709-726. Kyvik, S., & Skodvin, .O-J. (2003). Research in the non-university higher education sector: Tensions and dilemmas. Higher Education, 45(2), 203-222. Prosser, M., Martin, E., Trigwell, K., Ramsden, P., & Middleton, H. (2008).University academics’ experience of research and its relationship to their experience of teaching. Instructional Science, 36(1), 3-16. Robertson, J., & Bond, C. (2001). Experiences of the Relation between Teaching and Research: What do academics value? Higher Education Research and Development, 20(1), 5-19. Rowland, S. (1996). Relationships between teaching and research. Teaching in Higher Education, 1(1), 7-20. Visser-Wijnveen, G. (2009). The research-teaching nexus in the humanities: Variations among academics [ICLON PhD Dissertation series]. Leiden: ICLON .
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