Quality of Taching and Learning in Higher Education (completed)

Quality as a concept is increasingly being used within the field of higher education. Systems for quality assurance have during the last years been a required, established and partly accepted part of higher education. Discourses concerning quality of teaching and learning refer to different discourses.

About the project

Quality as a concept is increasingly being used within the field of higher education. Systems for quality assurance have during the last years been a required, established and partly accepted part of higher education. Discourses concerning quality of teaching and learning refer to different discourses. Stensaker claims that it is within these discourses that the identity of higher education is created: When defining quality, and when organising the process through witch quality is determined, one could argue that it is issues related to the whole identity of higher education that is at stake (Stensaker 2003, referred in Maasen et. al. 2007, s. 4). This project will explore the concept of quality by focusing on how norms concerning quality of teaching and learning as constructs are constituted within discourses and practices, and how they works as mediators for teaching and learnng in higher education. Core question of education regarding the nature of knowing, learning and teaching will be at stake in this project. It aims at looking into discourses about quality of teaching and learning in higher education from two perspectives:

  1. Teaching practice at masters levels in three different faculties (at the University of Oslo)
  2. Philosophical traditions and theoretical perspective of learning.

The study will take its departure in a sosio cultural approach. Central concepts in addition to quality are mediation, artefacts, appropriation, personal trajectories of participation and higher psychological functions. Knowing and competence is not only present in individual learning trajectories (Dreier 1999), but also in a collectively organised memory (Vygotskij 2001, Säljö 2006). Teaching and learning is intertwined with forms of thinking and action that are being explored and negotiated through collaboration and in activity (Wittek 2007). Learning is strongly connected with how participants learn to use tools in a flexible manner with regard to future challenges and situations (Shotter 2003).

Research questions

How is quality of teaching and learning beeing constructed in different discourses related to higher education? The more specific research questions are the following:

  1. How is quality teaching constituted and legitimated within different episthemological traditions and perspectives on learning?
  2. How is quality teaching constituted and legitimated within teaching at masters level at the University of Oslo?
  3. How can university teaching and selected pedagogical tools mediate learning?

The project will be linked to the research group at the Institute for Educational research, called “Learning Environments in Higher Education” (LEHE), chaired by Professor Kirsten Lycke.

References

Dreier, O. 1999: personal trajectories of participation across contexts of social practice. Outlines, 1, s. 5-32

Maasen P. (2007): The Knowledge Institution and European Integration: Tensions, Translations and Theoretical Understanding (KnowEur). Project proposition

Shotter J. 2003: ”Real Presences”, Meaning as Living Movement in a Participatory World. Theory and Psychology, Sage Publications, VOL.13(4): 435-468.

Wittek L (2007): Mappe som redskap for læring i høyere utdanning, strukturer, kulturell praksis og deltakelsesbaner. Doktorgradsavhandling levert for graden philosophiae doctor, Universitetet i Oslo. Det utdanningsvitenskapelige fakultet.

Published Sep. 15, 2010 1:08 PM - Last modified Nov. 17, 2010 10:08 AM