Cranfield UniversityPGCLTAHE Module 1: Scholarship and Philosophy of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education February 2011 George Roberts, PhD Oxford Brookes University http://www.slideshare.net/georgeroberts/philosophy-of-higher-education
Purpose of the day To analyse and reflect critically on Higher Education policy and practice and the explanatory frameworks that underpin policy and practice Consider the “big picture” The bits that aren’t in the “papers” Reflection Peer review The qualitative research agenda Keep getting to know each other: peer group development!
Introductions Introduce yourself and briefly say which School/Service you are with, what you teach or how you support learning Discuss do you have a mentor? (Handbook p. 3) what’s a mentor? Baseline profile (33) Learning Agreement (34)
Activity: ABCD 1 Asset based community development (ABCD) Affective recall Describe a time and a place in your life before you came to this job when you felt really energized and creative. Describe that situation to your partner
Aims and intended outcomes Intended Learning Outcomes (Handbook p. 7) Articulate a critical and scholarly review of theories of higher education and its purposes Criticality (ILO 1) Contribute to the development of a scholarly & critical understanding of Higher Education in society Assess the relevance of these philosophies and mechanisms in context Globalisation (ILO 2) Apply your analysis of discourses of education and power to the sustainability of social order attributes and the institutions of society Access (ILO 2) Apply a richer understanding of your role in higher education to the improvement of learning for your students, yourself, your discipline and institution(s) Responsibility (ILO 2) Explore the contingencies of “truth” as it underlies disciplinary (experimental) methods Curricula (ILO 2) Explain and apply the concept of a hidden curriculum to objective-led learning, teaching and assessment (and management) Demonstrate commitment to core professional values of scholarship, development of learning communities, CPD and evaluation Community (ILO 3) Interpret and actualise values in practice
Card sort: Issues and drivers At your table Individually: sort the cards in order of the things that most influence your role Choose your top 3 and briefly explain to your colleagues Together: Each table choose their top 2 Explain to the room
History of Ideas“purpose” Some people Institutions of society Purpose of Higher Education Academic identity
Institutions of society Estates Production Reproduction
Hidden curricular issues Overt curriculum of the early modern age “3 Rs”: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. Reproduction of these cultural goods, universal literacy and numeracy, would benefit both the individual as well as society. Today’s overt curriculum Flexibility, community/team work, personalisation (particularly in the ICT sense)
Covert curriculum: education as politics Industrial era covert curriculum: Punctuality, tolerance of repetition, subordination Post industrial “Knowledge Economy” covert curriculum Piecework, precarity, competition Normalisation Surveillance
Activity: let’s get critical Universities are supposed by the Charter [for Higher Education, 1993] to "deliver" a "service", namely higher education to "customers", in two divisions, firstly students, and secondly business which "buys" both education and the results of commissioned research. The "delivery" to students is by way of "teaching" or "effective management of ... learning", in "courses", all of which have "aims and structures" clearly described in advance, and any of which include "transferrable skills like problem solving and effective communication". The standards of these providers of teaching are guaranteed by "quality assurance systems" which will be "regularly audited" and will enable applicants to discover “… how well different universities and colleges are performing". Each of these phrases within quotation marks, and all of them cumulatively betray a conception of higher education which is not only not that of the university, but is actively hostile to the university. Maskell, D. & Robinson, I. (2001). The new idea of a university. London: Haven Books.
What’s wrong with? Deliver Service Customer Buys Teaching Effective management of learning Courses Aims and structures Transferrable skills like problem solving and effective communication Quality assurance systems Regularly audited Will enable applicants to discover how well different universities and colleges are performing
See De-localized Production of Scientific Knowledge. (2007, October 7). . Retrieved from http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mediaberkman/2007/09/21/de-localized-production-of-scientific-knowledge-2/
There is differencewhat do you do with it?- as a teacher- as a researcher- as an academic
Biological bases of cognition Training is intimately connected with and dependent on the human cognitive system. Learning means that the cognitive system acquires information and stores it for future use. If these processes do not occur properly, then the learners will not initially acquire the information, and even if they do… the information will not be utilised and behaviour modified. It does not matter if the objective is learning new information (e.g., compliance regulations, product specifications, etc.), acquiring new skills …, or knowledge sharing … the processes of acquiring, storing and applying the information are critical. See, e.g. Cognitive Consultants International (CCI) http://cognitiveconsultantsinternational.com/index.php?siteID=2
Philosophical bases of knowledge Most academics - in the humanities and social sciences, particularly - come at their subject these days from a relativist perspective: knowledge is "in here"; there is no knowledge without the knower; knowledge is "constructed" in cultural contexts; knowledge is not "given" or "out there". There is no "absolute truth". This position is quite different from the classical approach: knowledge is "out there"; the "laws of nature" are independent from the mind of the investigator; there is "truth" to be discovered. This approach depends on the "independent, objective observer", who can stand aside from the observed phenomenon and form an unbiased view. This classical approach is the traditional position of many scientists, as well the commonsense view of how knowledge is produced, which (according to Scollon) is held by an international public discourse of commerce and government. (see Scollon 2003: 71)
2 orientations towards acquiring knowledge & … 2 functions of theorydeductivefrom theory to observationpredictiveinductivefrom observation to theoryexplanatory What about abduction Retroduction
another orientation towards acquiring knowledge & … another function of theoryholisticgenerative
So… theory is: predictive explanatory generative
and, which reminds me… theory is: nomothetic oops! typical Or typifying Or typologising
So, we have a typology of theory… a theory of theory explanatory predictive generative typical
And the last bit? Falsifiable Theory vs.. ideology: Ideology may well be predictive and explanatory, but instead of generative it is restrictive, instead of typical it is normalising and instead of falsifiable it is enforced. (Popper)
So, we have a (new) typology of theory… a theory of theory explanatory predictive generative typical falsifiable
Stephen Brookfield’s four “critical reflective lenses”
our “autobiography as teachers and learners”, i.e. through our own eyes
Theoretical literature helps us to name our practice and to find that it is not idiosyncratic
... learning can be enhanced through: a consideration of the context and experience of others, familiarity with received wisdom, reflection on these, and the use of the first hand experience of the learner. [however] Discussions of reflection in learning often emphasise the first hand experience of the learner rather than the role of formal theory, the importance of the broader social context and the experience of others (Dyke 2006) Reflective practice?
Academic identity Disciplinarity as a dimension of diversity in higher education, showing an understanding of broad differences in epistemologies Disciplinarity may affect learning approaches curriculum outcomes current challenges learner characteristics…
Discipline… is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets… And it may be taken over… by institutions that use it as an essential instrument for a particular end (schools, hospitals)… (Foucault, 1977, p. 215)
Activities 1 VAK Questionnaire 2 Think of something you have learned. How did you learn this? What processes did you go through? What did you do to learn?
Conversational model Borrowed from http://www.elicit.scotcit.ac.uk/modules/intro/unit3.htm
Levels of learning: Bloom evaluation synthesis analysis application comprehension knowledge ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching: Bloom's taxonomy [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/bloomtax.htm
Sequence & Stance Sequence Where are you in the course? Is it the first week or the 8th week? Have groups been used in other settings? Do people know one another yet? What is the interactional function of groupwork (as opposed to the instrumental or regulatory orheuristicfunctions?) Maxims of stance (Scollon 1998) Channel Relationship Topic e-Tivity Sequence (Salmon)
Education levels and taxonomies Pedagogical pragmatism Face Posture Stance
M-level Masters degrees, PG Certificates and PG Diplomas systematic understanding of knowledge, and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice; comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship; originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline; conceptual understanding that enables the student: to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses. Quality assurance agency for higher education (QAA) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/FHEQ/EWNI/#framework
Values Core values Respect for learners Commitment to scholarship Developing learning communities Encouraging participation in higher education Commitment to personal CPD Higher Education Academy Professional Standards Framework
Higher Education Policy Levels of analysis Drivers Outcomes Pragmatics
Policy: the Big Picture Globalisation Liberalisation Participation Innovation Education and training policy replaces industrial policy as the means by which governments seek to make regions economically competitive
Critical theory Expose hidden assumptions Structured reduction of complexity
What is left out
Indirect object of learning
Critical reflection “Reflection becomes critical when it has two distinct purposes: … to understand how considerations of power undergird, frame and distort educational processes and interactions. … to question …assumptions and practices that seem to make our teaching lives easier but actually work against our long-term interests.” Brookfield (2005: 8)
Level/scale personal local institutional regional sectoral national global … Impact
When analysing policy impact it is customary to consider 3 (or 4 or 5) levels.
The choice depends on the rhetorical aim of the analysis
Outcomes Debate In the 1970s and 1980s, learning outcomes were seen as a progressive attempt to overcome the “old-school-tie” effect where who you knew and who you were were more important factors in determining educational success and employability than what you could do. By making learning outcomes explicit and linking them to real-world evidence, it was hoped that a greater meritocratic ethos would prevail. This became known as the “competency and outcomes movement”. However through the 1980s and 1990s competencies and outcomes became associated in the public mind with performative targets and managerial micro-control of learning and teaching. Far from being seen as a progressive attempt to wrest education from the hands of social elites, competencies and outcomes were seen to be a reactionary imposition on academic freedom.
Outcomes Debate This course and others like it are taught from a very pronounced “perspective”: Constructive Alignment Stated simply: Description, aims, outcomes, activity, assessment are all clearly articulated in a common language
Peer review How have you drawn on a process of peer review? Formal e.g. teaching observation Informal e.g. note of a lunch-time conversation after you gave a good lecture Programmatic e.g. programme development team meetings, course review events, validations, examination committees, etc