How are we, explicitly or tacitly, characterising ‘good’ education, both in the disciplines and across the institution? What are the relationships between our research and student education?
By working in partnership with students to build on the synergies between our research, our professional fields and our education, both within and across departments, could we develop an even more distinctive and effective learning and research community? In this session we will draw on both philosophical underpinnings (Gadamer 2004) and scientific perspectives (Wieman and Gilbert 2015) to take a fresh look at the relationship between education, research and scholarship: what is at the heart of the academic mission? Is the purpose of higher education to provide individuals with what they need to succeed in a competitive world, or is it advancing ‘the global common good’ (UNESCO 2015)? By integrating research and student education more readily, can we achieve both?
Considering issues of academic freedom for both academics and students (Macfarlane 2012), we will then look at new possibilities for enhancing programmes of study, using UCL’s Connected Curriculum initiative as a case study. Connected Curriculum (UCL 2015, Fung forthcoming) takes a distinctive approach to research-based education. Exploring its benefits and some examples of its application at UCL and beyond, we will also consider barriers to educational change, including the need to reward and promote staff who commit time and expertise to education and education leadership (Fung and Gordon 2016).
'Engaging students as partners in their education, and as co-producers of knowledge, improving the experiences of both students and staff' ~ Fung (2015)
The UCL Connected Curriculum Framework is an institution wide initiative designed to be applied flexibly by departments and faculties. The framework encourages the holistic engagement of students as partners in their education, and as co-producers of knowledge, through participating in research and enquiry at all levels of their programme of study . It is designed to inspire programme teams to enhance the connections across years of study, between staff and students, and even between disciplines.
We will finish with time for questions and comments: how relevant are these issues and approaches for staff and students at Swansea University.
- Fung, Dilly (Forthcoming) A Connected Curriculum for Higher Education. London: UCL Press.
- Fung, Dilly and Claire Gordon (2016) Rewarding Educators and Education Leaders in Research-Intensive Institutions. York UK: HE Academy: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/rewarding_educators_and_education_leaders.pdf
- Gadamer, Hans-Georg (2004) Truth and Method. 2nd revised edition. Translated by J. W. Marshall. London: Continuum.
- Macfarlane, Bruce (2012) Reframing student academic freedom: a capability perspective. Higher Education. (63) 719-732.
- UNESCO (2015) Rethinking Education: Towards a Global Common Good? Paris:United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
- Wieman, Carl and Gilbert, Sarah (2015) Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education, Part I–Research and Part II—Changing Teaching. Microbe, Vol. 10(4), pp. 152-156 (2015) & Vol. 10(5), pp. 203-207 (2015)