demystifying research informed teaching: parallel universes?
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Daring, daunting or daft? Doing research from Day 1
Research Informed Teaching
Tansy Jessop2 November [email protected]
Demystifying Research Informed Teaching: Do R & T occupy parallel universes?Tansy JessopSLTI Workshop4 November 2016
Please write short phrase post-its in response to these questions (no right or wrong answers go for gut feeling):
What is the purpose of higher education?What is research? What words spring to mind to define research?What is teaching?So what is research informed teaching?
Scoping out the territoryWhat are universities for?History, paradigms, modelsDebunking four myths about RITSo why bother with RIT?
RIT depends in part on what society, the economy and you think that universities are for
Looking back in history: medieval universitiesThe main ones: Bologna (1088), Paris, Oxford (1000s), Cambridge (1209)Training for church and civil serviceLaw and philosophyMenAuthority of teachersPrinting press 1440 (Caxton), 1470 (Gutenberg)
Medieval Universities in Europe (1100 to 1500)
It is a peculiarity of the institutions of higher learning that they treat learning as not yet completely solved problems, remaining at all times in a research mode Schools, in contrast, treat only closed and settled bodies of knowledge (Humboldt's Programme for University of Berlin 1810)
Birth of the modern university
But has anything changed since the middle ages?
And is it working for student learning?
A facts first approach prevails
Language of covering material Should we be surprised?9
Research informed teaching challenges facts first
Language of covering material Should we be surprised?10
Why we need to demystify RIT
A slippery elusive thing always changing shape? How do we get to grips with it?
A pointless task? Risky for standards? Risky for weaker students?
So what is RIT?Teachers active Students active Its about content Its about process Research-tutoredResearch-orientedResearch-ledResearch-based
Give examples from the PGCert: you do readings ; you write about readings (do you discuss them?), you do a student profiling research project12
Take Five: Post it exercise Write down as many examples of RIT that you have experienced or led.
Write down what prevents you from doing RIT routinely across the curriculum?
Populate: a) The four category white board b) What prevents RIT?
RIT as practised (my untested hypothesis)Teachers are active Students are active What HowStudents generate researchTeach researchmethods
Teach using researchStudentsconduct research
Myth 1: RIT works best in research-intensive universitiesSciencyCompetent and capable researchersGreat research environmentLots of doshLoads of PhD students
But does it?
You cant assume a productive relationship between research and teaching Jenkins and Healey. John Hattie meta analysis no correlation.16
RIT depends on how you view knowledge
Students are kept at arms length from research(Angela Brew)Especially when research is positivist, external, detached, experimental, scientific, product oriented(Brew 1999)
Brews argument: paradigm wars?
A positive research and teaching link primarily depends on the nature of students learning experiences, resulting from appropriate teaching and learning processes, rather than on particular inputs or outcomes (Elton 2001, 43).
Myth 2: Research-active lecturers are better at RITConfidenceResearch projects on-the-goThey can put their own research into teachingBut does this view favour the transmission of informationIs this a trading view of research?
Students dont rate it
HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey 2015
The nature of the link may no longer depend on the research excellence of teachers, but rather on their ability to encourage and facilitate in their students a problematic approach to learning. The focus has been shifted from the excellence of the teacher to the excellence of the learning experience (Elton 2001, 50)
Myth 3: You cant do RIT with first year undergraduate students
It all began with Perrys Unit Evaluations
This course has changed my whole outlook on life. Superbly taught!
This course is falsely taught and dishonest. You have cheated me of my tuition
An enigma wrapped in a riddle surrounded by a mystery. Puzzled. 24
This has been the most sloppy, disorganised course Ive ever taken. Of course Ive made some improvement, but this has been due entirely to my own efforts!
The best teacher never pleases everybody!25
The reliance on traditional instruction is not simply a choice made by individual facultystudents often prefer it. This resistance to active learning may have more to do with their epistemological development than a true preference for passivity. William Perry 1981
Holy Spirit, instrumental learning. Just tell me what the Holy Sprit is!27
The journey: move over dualismBy confronting students with uncertainty, ambiguity, and conflicting perspectives, instructors help them develop more mature mental models that coincide with the problem-solving approaches used by experts. William Perry 1981
Pedagogy of discomfort. Many students react to uncertainty with profound anxiety. Authentic learning exercises expose the messiness of real-life decision making, where there may not be a right or a wrong answer per se.
Intellectual Development of Students
Why bother with RIT? Self-confidenceIndependence in learning Increasing epistemological sophisticationEntry into discipline research culturesCollegial relations with academicsImproved gradesEnhanced metacognitionIncreased engagementEmployability skills (Levy 2012)
Benefits to students in the following areas:
We need to shift students from the idea that university is just like school, only faster.Lewis Elton
ReferencesBrew, A. 2003. Teaching and Research: New relationships and their implications for inquiry-based teaching and learning in higher education, HERDSA. 3-18.Brew, A. 1999. Research and teaching: Changing relationships in a changing context, Studies in Higher Education, 24:3, 291-301.Collini, S. 2012. What are Universities for? London: Penguin Books.Elton, L. 2001. Research and Teaching: Conditions for a positive link, Teaching in Higher Education, 6:1, 43-56.Hattie, J. and H.W. Marsh, 1996. The Relationship between Research and Teaching: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 66(4), 507-542.Healey, M. and A. Jenkins, 2009. Developing undergraduate research and inquiry. York: Higher Education Academy.Healey, M., 2005. Linking Research and Teaching: disciplinary spaces In R. Barnett, ed, Reshaping the university: new relationships between research, scholarship and teaching. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, 30-42.Jessop, T and Wu, Q. 2016 (forthcoming) Debunking common myths about RIT. Dialogue JournalPerry, William 1981. Cognitive and Ethical Growth: The Making of Meaning. In Chickering, A. 1981. The Modern American College. San Francisco. Jossey Bass. Shulman, L. 2004. Pedagogies of Substance. Chapter 7 In Teaching as Community Property: essays on Higher Education. 128-139. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass.