Developing the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education

Mick Healey

Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, UK

Email: mhealey@chelt.ac.uk
Tel: 01242 543364
Fax: 01242 532997

Paper presented to the Improving Student Learning International Conference, University of York, September and the National Council of Geography in Higher Education Annual Conference, Boston, November. (Note: an earlier version of this paper was presented as part of the GDN Discussion Papers section). Subsequently published as Healey, M. (2000) Developing the scholarship of teaching in higher education: a discpline-based approach, Higher Education Research and Development, 19(2), pp.169-189.

Abstract: There is an international debate in the educational literature about the development of the scholarship of teaching. This paper aims to stimulate a discussion of what this involves within geography and the extent to which progress has been made to date in developing a scholarship of teaching within the discipline. It is argued that developing the scholarship of teaching can make an important contribution to the way in which a discipline progresses. The scholarship of teaching, it is suggested, involves engagement with research into teaching and learning; critical reflection of practice; and communication and dissemination about the practice of one's subject. This provides a challenging agenda for developing the teaching of geography in higher education. Implementing this agenda includes developing: the application of scholarship in teaching; the status of teaching; the complementary nature of teaching and research; the standing of discipline-based pedagogic research; and the role of discipline networks. Each of these five closely related elements is briefly examined in turn. The paper ends by examining some implications of the analysis for institutions, departments and individuals.

Key words: scholarship of teaching, higher education, progress in geography, learning, status of teaching, teaching and research, pedagogic research, discipline networks

'Teaching is the highest form of understanding'

(Aristotle, quoted by Boyer, 1990: 23)

'Geographers employed in American colleges and universities for too long have been hired to do one job (teach) and rewarded for doing another (research)'

(Abler et al., 1994: 9)

'The very concept of a scholarship of pedagogy is still very unfamiliar to many university teachers'

(Baume, 1996: 4)

I  The role of teaching in the progress of geography

This paper is based on the argument that developing the scholarship of teaching in higher education can make an important contribution to the way in which a discipline progresses. High quality teaching can, for example, improve the quality of learning of students studying the discipline; provide a map to the literature on a particular topic and the directions in which it is progressing; attract and stimulate students to study the subject; transmit the values and traditions of the discipline; develop and promote good discipline-based pedagogic practice; encourage reflection on teaching styles and strategies; and enhance the reputation of the discipline.1 However, debates about progress in geography have focused on the content and methodology of the subject and have largely ignored the role of teaching.

Despite the attempt by Barnes (1966) to undermine the whole notion of progress in geography, most commentators accept that 'some sense of making progress is essential to what we do' (Bassett, 1999: p. 28). Lowe and Short (1990: p. 1) suggest that progress in geography is 'often defined as the ability of geographers to make their world more understandable'. High quality teaching can contribute to such understanding. Lowe and Short hint at this in promoting a 'charter' for a progressive human geography and calling for geographers to 'open out to and influence a popular audience' (p. 8), but they illustrate their paper only in terms of the kind of research questions and appropriate methodologies which they feel need addressing, and do not explicitly apply their argument to teaching.

Both Johnston (1997) and Bassett (1999) recognise that progress in a discipline is multidimensional. Bassett, for example, distinguishes between institutional, empirical, explanatory, conceptual, inter-subjective understanding, pragmatic, and emancipatory progress. Here it is suggested that a further dimension of progress concerns how we teach about our discipline. Progress may occur in the sense that we are more effective in facilitating our students to learn about geography, including the development of appropriate teaching materials, textbooks and software. For example, some of the seminal texts which have marked geography's progress, such as Frontiers in geographical teaching (Chorley and Haggett, 1965), developed out of sets of lectures. Progress in teaching geography in higher education is also closely related to several of the other dimensions of progress, that Bassett (1999) identifies, in that, for example, it can contribute to the standing of our discipline within institutions; it can be emancipators in the way it can empower students (Matthews and Livingstone, 1996); and it can make our contribution to public policy and solutions to social problems more effective. The impact and dissemination of empirical, explanatory and conceptual progress are also critically affected by the quality of teaching.

Discussions of why good teaching matters in geography are not new. In the late nineteenth century, for example, Kropotkin (1885) called for radical changes to what should be taught in geography and how. He argued that 'nothing is dryer and less attractive in most schools than what is christened there with the name of geography' (p. 940). He went on to argue that geography must 'awaken ... the taste for natural science; ... teach ... that all men are brethren, whatever be their nationality; and ... teach ... respect (for) the 'lower races'' (p. 943). Interestingly he also advocated replacing the rote learning method of teaching with independent inquiry and discovery based problem solving. He noted from his own experience 'the rapidity of teaching on the 'problems' method is something really astonishing' (p. 944).

The context of teaching in the late twentieth century is rather different. We have a system of mass higher education in which in most western countries a third or more of the age-cohort participates at much higher staff-student ratios (Jenkins, 1999). The challenge of teaching in this context has led to several recent attempts to identify good teaching practices in geography, including the book by Gold et al. (1991); the set of Guides prepared by the Geography Discipline Network (Gravestock and Healey, 1998), and the articles published in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education. Challenges are also arising from the restructuring of higher education with an increasing amount of 'geography' being taught outside the discipline in applied studies concerned with tourism, environmental management and business studies, in which greater emphasis is placed on staff's industrial experience (Rich et al., 1997).

One reason why the role of teaching in the progress of geography has largely been ignored in recent years is the higher status given to research in universities in the late twentieth century and the tendency to see teaching as an activity competing for the research time of academics. There are indications, however, that teaching is beginning to receive slightly greater attention. For example, in the UK a plethora of reports and consultations on the nature and organisation of higher education came out in 1998 following the publication of the Dearing Report (NCIHE, 1997) (Table 1). In part this reflects the new Labour government reviewing education policy. It also indicates a recognition in the Higher Education Funding Councils that, as Professor Ron Cooke (Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Learning and Teaching Committee and ex-Professor of Geography at University College London) stated, 'the balance between teaching and research has moved too far towards research' (Cooke, 1998a).2 However, the danger with thinking in terms of 'research' and 'teaching' is that they can become seen as competitive rather than complementary activities. In a previous article in Progress in Human Geography the author argued that 'there is a need to move beyond the tired old debate of teaching versus research and broaden the discussion to give legitimacy to the full scope of academic work' (Healey, 1997: 104).3 This article argues that one aspect of academic work which needs to be developed is the scholarship of teaching.

During the 1990s there has been an international debate about the development of the scholarship of teaching. The most influential proponents of the need to move away from an emphasis on disciplinary research as the single form of scholarship recognized in academe, are the late Ernest Boyer and his colleagues at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Boyer, 1990; Glassick et al., 1997). They argue that there is a need to give scholarship a broader meaning so as to define the work of university teachers in ways that enrich, rather than restrict, the quality of undergraduate education. They identify four separate, but overlapping areas of scholarship: the scholarship of discovery research; the scholarship of integration, including the writing of textbooks; the scholarship of service, including the practical application of knowledge; and the scholarship of teaching.

The need to recognize and find an appropriate balance between these different forms of scholarship has led the majority of campuses in the United States to revise, or to begin the process of revising, their standards for tenure and promotion (Boyer, 1995). Moreover, this definition of the meaning of scholarship has led, under the auspices of the American Association for Higher Education, to an extensive reinterpretation by the discipline-based scholarly associations, including geography (Abler et al., 1994), of the roles and rewards for academics (Diamond and Adam, 1993; 1995a). This work has stimulated calls for changes to the way in which good teaching is recognized and rewarded in many other countries, including Australia (Ramsden and Martin, 1996) and the UK (Gibbs, 1995a).

Geographers are actively involved in the development of all four forms of scholarship (Abler, et al., 1994). This paper, however, focuses particularly on the last of Boyer's forms of scholarship, that of teaching. It is argued though that progressing the quality of learning and teaching in geography involves engagement with all four areas of scholarship. The main theme of the paper is that good teaching needs to be better understood, more open to scrutiny, and better communicated (Boyer, 1990; Ramsden and Martin, 1996). For this to happen, it is suggested that teachers in higher education institutions need to learn how to adopt a scholarly approach to teaching and how to collect and present rigorous evidence of their effectiveness as teachers. This involves reflection, inquiry, evaluating, documenting and communicating about teaching.

The remainder of this article starts with an analysis of what is meant by the scholarship of teaching. The major section of the paper is concerned with a discussion of what needs to be done to develop the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education and hence progress the quality of learning and teaching of the discipline. The argument draws largely on generic educational literature and briefly reviews how far the ideas have been applied in geography. Most of the literature referred to originates from the UK, the United States and Australasia. The paper focuses particularly on undergraduate teaching, because it is here that the issues discussed are clearest.4 It is essentially a discussion paper and calls for further comment from its readers.

II  The scholarship of teaching

The scholarship of teaching is as much about learning as it is about teaching. 'Teaching and learning in higher education are inextricably and elaborately linked' (Ramsden, 1992: 6). Although the processes of teaching and learning are quite complicated the aim of teaching, according to Ramsden (1992: 5), is simple: 'it is to make student learning possible.' The aim of scholarly teaching is: 'to make transparent how we have made learning possible' (Martin, 1998). 'Teaching' is used here in its broadest sense to include 'the aims of the curriculum, the methods of transmitting the knowledge those aims embody, the assessment of students, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of the instruction with which they are provided' (Ramsden, 1992: 9). Recent research shows that, 'just as students experience learning in different ways, university teachers experience teaching in different ways. Their perceptions of their teaching context, the way they approach their teaching, and the outcomes of those approaches vary between individuals in the same context, as well as between contexts' (Prosser and Trigwell, 1999: 7). Improvements in learning and teaching depend upon the development of the scholarship of teaching (Menges et al., 1996).

Despite calling for greater attention to be given to the scholarship of teaching, Boyer (1990) does not attempt to give an operational definition. His conception is limited to teachers who are 'well informed' and who 'stimulate active, not passive learning and encourage students to be critical, creative thinkers, with the capacity to go on learning.' Further he suggests that 'good teaching means that faculty, as scholars, are also learners' (Boyer, 1990: 23-4). Though these are laudable objectives in themselves, it has been left to other writers to explore and extend the meaning of the term 'scholarship of teaching' (Trigwell, et al., 1999).

Schulman (1993), for example, emphasizes the key role of communication, when he describes teaching as 'community property'. He describes the life of scholars, who are members of active communities: sharing, discussing, critiquing and exchanging practices; and engaged in peer review. Schon (1983; 1995), on the other hand, sees the key elements to be the teacher engaged in reflective practice and action research. 'If teaching is to be seen as a form of scholarship, then the practice of teaching must be seen as giving rise to new knowledge' (Schon, 1995: 31). Drawing on this work and that of others, Martin et al. (1999) identify a consensus that the scholarship of teaching involves three essential and integrated elements: engagement with the scholarly contributions of others on teaching and learning; reflection on one's own teaching practice and the learning of students within the context of a particular discipline; and communication and dissemination of aspects of practice and theoretical ideas about teaching and learning in general and teaching and learning within the discipline. It is significant that two of these elements refer explicitly to developing scholarship within the context of one's discipline.

This list supports the view of Cross and Steadman (1996: 28) that there are 'multiple scholarships of teaching'. The scholarship of teaching can involve all four forms identified by Boyer: discovery research into the nature of learning and teaching; integration of material from several disciplines to understand what is going on in the classroom; application of what is known about how students learn to the learning-teaching process; and teaching, 'not only transmitting knowledge, but transforming and extending it as well' (Boyer, 1990: 24). The advantage of thinking of the different kinds of academic work all as forms of scholarship is that it emphasizes their common features, rather than their differences.

One of the key issues in implementing this broader view of the meaning of scholarship is how to evaluate the different forms of scholarship and to ensure standards are protected. Glassick et al. (1997: 10) argue that 'whatever the scholarly emphasis, the approach deserves dignity and respect, insofar as it is performed with distinction. Excellence must be the only yardstick.' They identify six criteria which can be applied to scholarship in all its different forms: clear goals; adequate preparation; appropriate methods; significant results; effective presentation; and reflective critique. They suggest that, taken together, the criteria provide 'a powerful conceptual framework to guide evaluation'. The 'very obviousness' of the qualitative standards, they argue, 'shows their applicability to a broad range of intellectual projects' (Glassick et al., 1997: 25). Applying to teaching those evaluation criteria and quality enhancement processes associated with research is a theme which runs through several of the ideas for developing the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education.

Before going on to consider these it is important to note that more detailed principles have also been developed specifically to identify good teaching practice (e.g. Prosser and Trigwell, 1999; Ramsden, 1992). One of the best known of these guides is the seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education suggested by Chickering and Gamson (1987) in the States (Table 2). The application of these principles has been influential in improving teaching and learning in a wide range of colleges and universities (Chickering and Gamson, 1991; Hatfield, 1995) and the principles have been used in geography to inform the design and application of computer-assisted learning packages (Healey, et al., 1998).

III  Developing the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education

The traditional model of educational development is an institutional-based one (Gosling, 1996; Knapper, 1997). However, it is argued here that for most academics, developing the scholarship of teaching will only bring about change in their priorities if it is embedded in disciplines and departments. This is because, first, there is strong perception among staff that there are significant differences among disciplines in what academics do and how those activities are described and valued. There is supporting evidence for these perceptions in that, for example, learning goals vary between disciplines. Donald (1997: 54) concluded from reviewing the evidence that: 'the physical and life sciences emphasize learning of facts and principles, while in the social sciences and humanities, communication skills and critical thinking are important. In return, students rate humanities instructors more positively than physical science instructors.' Secondly, for most academic staff their primary allegiance is to their subject or profession, and their sense of themselves as staff at a given institution is secondary (Becher, 1994; Diamond and Adams, 1995b; Gibbs, 1996; Jenkins, 1996).

It is important therefore that the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education is not divorced from the content of the discipline. As Rice (1995: vi) notes: 'improvement of teaching needs to be rooted in the intellectual substance of the field'. This is not to deny the importance of interdisciplinary work in geography and to learn from what colleagues in other disciplines are doing in the learning and teaching arena (Hardwick, 1999). However, if educational development is to be effective and to reach more staff it is argued that much more of it needs to be embedded within disciplines and departments (Gibbs, 1996; Healey, 1998a).

Using a definition of the scholarship of teaching as one based on engagement with research into teaching and learning, critical reflection of practice, and communication and dissemination about the practice of one's subject, provides a challenging agenda for the development of the teaching of geography in higher education. There are several closely related aspects involved in implementing this agenda, five of which will be discussed here: the application of scholarship in teaching; the status of teaching; the complementary nature of teaching and research; the standing of discipline-based pedagogic research; and the role of discipline networks. Developing the scholarship of teaching in geography is an international issue, but the way the argument is played out varies between countries. For example, in the United States, as already noted, the issue of roles and rewards has been important (Abler et al., 1994), while in the UK the discussion of the relationship of research and teaching and the impact of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) has dominated the debate (Jenkins, 1995; 1999).

1. Developing the application of scholarship in teaching

Applying the ideas of scholarship to the practice of individual teachers leads to the suggestion that the extent to which staff are scholarly in this element of their academic life should be reflected in how they teach. There is, however, a lack of research evidence on the relationship between pedagogic scholarship and better teaching. It is quite possible that some people may be 'scholarly introverts' who learn more and more about teaching, but never get any better at doing it (Wareing, 1999). Similarly, some people are intuitive teachers who are excellent at the practice even though they may never have studied the theory. Nevertheless it seems a reasonable proposition that a good test that someone is adopting a scholarly approach to their teaching is that they attempt to apply the principles of good teaching practice.

Within any discipline teachers will be at different stages in the extent to which they adopt a scholarly approach to teaching. At one end of the spectrum are teachers who show no awareness in the way they teach of the literature and ideas on teaching and learning in their discipline, do not reflect on their teaching practice or their students' learning, and do not discuss their teaching with colleagues. At the other end of the continuum are teachers who are fully practicing the scholarship of teaching. They seek to understand teaching better 'by consulting the literature on teaching and learning, by investigating their own teaching, by reflecting on their own teaching intentions and their students' learning, and by formally communicating their ideas and practice to their peers' (Martin et al., 1998). Most geography teachers in higher education fall somewhere between these two extremes. During their careers staff seem to develop as teachers in stages, though not all reach the later stages (Krugel, 1993). Wareing (1999) argues that this progression appears not to be even, nor is it always in one direction. People may plateau in their teaching skills and then leap forward when they move to apply something radically different from what they were doing before. She also suggests that it is 'possible for teaching skills to go backwards temporarily while scholarship goes forwards: people … (may) get self-conscious and confused as their knowledge increases, and take a while to digest new learning and put it usefully into practice'.

A scholarly approach to teaching has been advocated in geography by Jenkins (1998: 95-96) who, in writing about designing the curriculum in geography departments in higher education, argues that 'teaching and curriculum design is an act of scholarship, and that as academics when we teach we demonstrate the value of universities to society and immediately our students by the extent to which we are aware of and use the conversations on the scholarship of the curriculum. If we treat curriculum design as something that can be done by common sense, knowledge and experience, why should we expect others to value the knowledge we have developed on the substantive areas we teach?'

To be scholarly, academics need to use the same kind of thought processes in their teaching that they apply to their research (Elton, 1992). A good example of this concerns lecturing. There is a wealth of literature which shows the limitations for student learning of lecturing continuously for 55 minutes or more (see Bligh, 1998 for a review of some of the evidence). Yet many staff continue to teach in this way and lectures of this kind remain the most common learning experience for many students in higher education. It appears that many staff are either not aware of the research evidence or choose to ignore it, perhaps because there is a culture in some departments in which the improvement of teaching and learning is rarely discussed.5 A scholarly approach to teaching would involve becoming familiar with this literature and acting on its findings. This does not necessarily mean reading the original research studies (although most lecturers encourage the students studying their options to do this), but it should at least mean reflecting on the theory and practice of lecturing applied to one's discipline. Agnew and Elton (1998) provide a very readable and practical account of how students' learning in geography lectures may be enhanced by integrating activities into the sessions.

A slightly different example concerns assessment methods. The research evidence clearly shows that the assessment system has a marked effect on whether students adopt a 'deep' or 'surface' approach to learning (Ramsden, 1992; Prosser and Trigwell, 1999). Yet in many institutions the accrediting function, which assessment has to serve, dominates and its formative function, with the potential to improve student learning, is secondary (Biggs, 1992). Gibbs (1999: 153-4) argues that we need in geography to emphasise the functions of assessment which support learning - capturing student attention and effort; generating appropriate learning activities; providing feedback to the student; and developing within students the ability to monitor their own learning and standards. Some of these methods, including self and peer assessment, may involve little effort on behalf of the member of staff, apart from setting up and monitoring the system. Some examples of the application of these methods in geography may be found in Bradford and O'Connell (1998).

2. Developing the status of teaching

Bahram Bekhradnia (1998), Director of Policy at HEFCE, recently noted that, 'Both internally and by the outside world the reputation of institutions and individual academics - and their rewards - are based very largely on their research performance. I do not think this is inevitable, nor has it always been the case, but that has certainly been the case recently in the United States and Great Britain, and to a large extent in mainland Europe as well'.

The idea of scholarship in teaching is an attractive one to those keen to see improvement in the status of teaching in higher education institutions (HEIs). The argument made is that teaching too can be the most scholarly of pursuits. However, if teaching is to be valued equally with research then, like research, teaching must open itself to the scrutiny of theoretical perspectives, methods, evidence and results (Martin, et al., 1999). This view has been taken a stage further by Gibbs (1995a; 1999), who argues that for every process which supports quality in research, there is a parallel process which can be used to support quality in teaching (Table 3). The theme behind this list is that if teaching is to be taken as seriously as research and to receive similar rewards there is a need for it to be more public and open to evaluation by peers.

The most significant of the processes for enhancing quality, according to Gibbs (1995a), is the reward for teaching excellence, for both individuals and departments. This view is shared by staff. An international survey by Wright (1995) found that out of thirty-six measures listed, recognition of teaching in tenure and promotion decisions is seen by academics in every country surveyed, including the UK, as having the most potential for improving the quality of teaching. Yet there is clear evidence that 'the gap between perceptions of what university reward processes actually do, and what academic staff would like them to do, is much larger for teaching than it is for research; and that this is particularly true for undergraduate teaching' (Ramsden and Martin, 1996: 304). The same study concluded that there is 'no substitute for action to promote good teachers if universities want their staff to accept that good teaching is properly recognized' (p. 312).

The need to give more emphasis to valuing teaching more highly in allocating staff rewards in geography is also emphasized by the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Their statement recommends that 'competent teaching - verified by vigorous peer review - be a necessary condition of retention and advancement in all professional positions in geography in all academic institutions. Teaching should be valued more highly in allocating faculty rewards than it has been for the last several decades, especially in relation to discovery (research)' (Abler, et al., 1994: 14-15).

The main constraint on implementing these ideas is the perception that it is more difficult to identify excellence in teaching compared to excellence in research. However, there are several examples of good practice in this area and guidance is available on the selection of appropriate criteria (Elton, 1998; Gibbs 1995b, Ramsden and Martin, 1996). Among the points stressed are: the desirability of following procedures which reflect familiar research performance evaluation methods, such as peer review and the use of teaching portfolios (Ramsden and Martin, 1996); the need to distinguish criteria for competence and for excellence (Elton, 1996); that being good at teaching on its own is not enough, except for staff early in their career (Elton, 1996; Gibbs, 1995b); the importance of training for lecturers, reviewers and promotion committees in the evaluation processes (Gibbs, 1995a); and the need to promote excellent teaching, not just excellent teachers (ie there is a need to have a mechanism which stimulates the majority of staff who are not rewarded in any one year and does not demotivate those staff who apply, but are not rewarded) (Gibbs, 1995c).

The development and application of promotion criteria are primarily the responsibility of institutions, although discipline-based associations have an important role in encouraging their development and advising on the appropriateness of the criteria to their disciplines. Such scholarly associations also have a vital part to play in raising the status of teaching in higher education, through the support they give to educational initiatives and the priority they give to teaching and learning matters. The role of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) in coordinating the responses of the discipline in the UK to the proposal of the Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCs) to establish national subject centres and to the initiative of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to develop benchmarking standards in geography, is a good example. The AAG's Commission on College Geography II provides another illustration of the positive support an Association can give to promoting good teaching. They prepared 10 active learning modules on The Human Dimensions of Global Change (Hands-On!, 1998). Further recognition could be given by instituting teaching awards and developing regular key note lecture slots in the Annual Conferences of the major geographical societies concerned with geography educational issues.6

Moves to give professional standing for teachers in higher education, with the founding of the Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) in the UK, should further raise the status of teaching in higher education. The first task of the ILT is to develop a framework for the accreditation of teaching and learning programmes for higher education staff (ILT Planning Group, 1998). It is important that these programmes include explicit elements on discipline-based issues in learning and teaching, which is missing from the Staff and Educational Development Association accreditation scheme. A pilot residential workshop for new and recently appointed teachers in geography, earth and environmental sciences in HEIs in the UK is being developed by a consortium for presentation in 2000, which may provide a model for adding discipline-based issues to institutional-based generic learning and teaching courses (Healey, et al., 1999a).7

The discipline has been more active in the field of continuing professional development, with workshops and conferences regularly being organised by educational speciality groups, such as the Commission on Geographical Education of the International Geographical Union, the Geography Education Speciality Group of the AAG, and the Higher Education Study Group of the RGS-IBG. Recently several government funded projects have also been active in providing continuing professional development in geography, such as the Virtual Geography Department project in the United States and the Geography Discipline Network in the UK.

Slightly ironically, however, while more attention is being given to the development of geography teachers in higher education, the status of developing materials, software and textbooks for these teachers to use in their classes has been diminishing. This is particularly apparent in the UK, where the Research Assessment Exercise has meant that there are disincentives to becoming involved with the development of teaching and learning materials, and fewer authors prepared to write the kinds of book the publishers want to commission, such as textbooks, which do not score highly with the assessors (Utley, 1999). This is a pity as textbooks, in particular, play a key role in the progress of the subject. As Johnston (1992: 258) argues: 'Textbooks have a vital role to play in any discipline, … because they are the foundation stones of its progress'. John Davey, from Blackwell Publishers, pleads that as: 'Writing and publishing textbooks (or computer assisted learning packages) are challenging and responsible activities…. those responsible for monitoring scholarly productivity should award higher marks to those taking the time to disseminate and interpret rather than directly to advance the frontiers of research' (Davey, et al., 1995: 26).

3 Developing the complementary nature of teaching and research

Departments of geography are faced with increasing pressures to perform well in research and to generate increased income from research and consultancy, while at the same time providing high quality teaching. If the development of the scholarship of teaching is to make progress it is important to develop the complementary nature of these different activities. Otherwise it will be difficult 'to do more with less'.

The relationship between undergraduate teaching quality and research quality (usually taken as approximately synonymous with Boyer's discovery scholarship) has attracted much attention in recent years and has led to many claims on both sides of the argument, some of which unfortunately seem to be based on little more than anecdotal evidence (Gibbs, 1995a; Hodges, 1999; Johnston, 1996a). Some of this debate has been specifically about geography (Healey, 1997; Jenkins, 1999). On the one hand, it is asserted that the best teaching and learning in geography is led by the best researchers (Cooke, 1998b) and that there is a strong correlation between where the best geography research is done and where the best teaching is available (Johnston, 1996b).8 On the other hand, it has been argued that in the UK the competition induced by the RAE has had deleterious effects on the quality of undergraduate teaching in geography (Jenkins, 1995). Writing more generally about the situation in New Zealand, where 'there is a legal requirement that university research and teaching be closely interdependent and that most teaching be done by people who are active in advancing knowledge' (Woodhouse, 1998: 39); Bryan Gould noted, in the foreword to the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Annual Report, that 'the value of the linkage between university teaching and research, especially at undergraduate level, proved harder to substantiate' (Gould, 1998: 5). Policy makers are also questioning the basis of the supposed relationship. Thus Bahram Bekhradnia (1998), stated 'I have not seen any convincing empirical evidence for a causal relationship between good teaching and research' (p.5). 'On the ... question - whether excessive concentration on research is damaging to teaching, I think the answer has to be that it probably is. I think it almost certainly true that the imbalance of rewards between research and teaching leads some to concentrate excessively on research' (p.9).

Reflecting on some of this debate, Johnston (1996: 169) has called for a more scholarly approach to be adopted by the protagonists. 'It is to be hoped that future debates over the relationships among scholarship, pure and applied research and pedagogy will be based on more rigorous evaluation of evidence and a more constructive, open stance by all concerned.' In that spirit, there is an attempt in the next few paragraphs to point briefly to some of the ways in which the relationship between teaching and research quality needs to be unpacked to try to resolve some of the seemingly competing claims. In particular it is suggested that there is a need first, to clarify whether the unit of analysis is the individual academic or the department or institution; secondly, to examine critically how research and teaching quality are conceptualised and measured; and thirdly, to discuss the interpretation of the research findings and the possible influence of intervening variables.

There has been a large number of studies which have examined the relationship between the quality of undergraduate teaching and research in higher education. Most have been undertaken at the level of the individual academic and have found that there is little or no correlation between research productivity and teaching quality (see, for example, the reviews by Feldman, 1987; Hattie and Marsh, 1996; Jenkins, 1999; Ramsden and Moses, 1992). Yet, as Webster (1985) argues, the myth that there is a relationship persists because we want there to be a link. 'Politically the stakes are loaded against evidence showing there is not a link between teaching and research. Neither staff, who wish to be allowed to continue to engage in both teaching and research, nor institutional managers who want to maintain university funding based upon research and teaching have any desire to see the link severed or weakened' (Brew and Boud, 1995a: 37). More recent research has found that academics responded passionately to a brief report on the lack of a correlation with views ranging from the highly critical and unbelieving to the very supportive (Robertson, 1999).

Others have argued that the lack of a positive relationship in these correlation studies reflects the way the variables are measured. Elton (1986), for example, has challenged the validity of the design of these investigations. He argues that they are based on the assumption that 'the research and teaching capabilities of an academic can be rated quantitatively, each on a single dimension, which seems intrinsically improbable for such complicated human activities' (p. 300). He goes on to argue that for a correlation to exist it is necessary for it to be mediated through scholarship. Scholarship, according to Elton (1992), in both subject disciplines and in teaching, involves new and critical reinterpretations of what is already known. His concern is with the application of scholarship and the consequent reflective practice to both disciplines and pedagogy.

A slightly different interpretation is taken by Brew and Boud (1995a, b). They argue that an attempt to find a relationship between teaching and research is confounded by different conceptions of the two enterprises. They suggest that if there is a link between the two it operates through the element which they have in common, the act of learning. Research, they argue, is a process of learning or discovery, while teaching is concerned with facilitating learning. The processes which students go through in learning are, they argue, similar to the processes of research. This may help to explain the common assumption that researchers make the best teachers because 'as researchers, teachers are often engaged in the same activity as their students, namely learning' (Brew and Boud, 1995b: 270). Moreover, as research involves a deep approach to learning, researchers model, in their own work, learning approaches which it is desirable for their students to follow.9 A related perspective is provided by Wills et al. (1999: 3), who suggest that 'learning can be enhanced through the effective integration of teaching and research in a way that reflects situational and disciplinary characteristics'.

Whereas intervening variables, such as scholarship and learning, may help to explain why researchers have been unable to find significant correlations between teaching and research quality at the level of the individual academic, at the level of the department or institution correlations seem clearer, although there is much debate about their interpretation. For example, in the UK there is a strong relationship between the scores departments and institutions have obtained in the RAE and those they have obtained in the Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA) exercise (Johnston, 1994; 1996a). This relationship also applies to geography (Healey, 1997; Johnston, 1996b).10 However, 'it is too simple to conclude that the correlation between departmental performance in the RAE and in the TQA shows that high-quality research results in high quality teaching' (Healey, 1997: 103). The main advantage for teaching of obtaining high grades in the RAE is the additional resources for expenditure on staff, equipment and the library, which has an excellent beneficial effect on the students' learning environment (Johnston, 1994). It does not follow that the best teaching is concentrated in the institutions and departments with the highest RAE grades. Indeed, several highly-rated geography research departments graded excellent in the TQA were recommended to make some significant changes to their methods of learning and assessment (Healey, 1997).

Additional resources may then be an intervening variable in the relationship between teaching and research quality. There are two further variables which may have contributed to the correlation. First, there is the tendency for institutions with high TQA scores to have students with high entry qualifications, which may contribute to a perception of high academic quality (Bekhradnia, 1998). Secondly, there is a related 'halo effect', which may have affected the judgement of teaching quality in some of the most research-orientated and prestigious geography departments. Chalkley (1996: 154) has suggested that they may have gained an excellence rating 'at least in part on the basis of reputation, resources and research'.

This short review suggests that there does seem to be some relationship between teaching and research quality, but that it is weaker than some in the 'research' camp have argued and stronger than some in the 'teaching' camp have suggested. The problem, however, with much of the debate is that it has tended to polarise the issue into a 'teaching versus research' competition. This seems to be unhealthy both for higher education generally and geography in particular. Although Sir Ronald Oxburgh, in his Presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, called the claim that teaching cannot be done without research 'one of the major flaws in higher education' (quoted by Woodhouse, 1998: 44), there are many potential benefits for students of fostering a link between teaching and research.

A recent study found that students at one institution perceived clear benefits from staff research, including staff enthusiasm and the credibility of staff and their institution (Jenkins, et al., 1998). However, they also perceived disadvantages from staff involvement in research, particularly staff availability to students. Moreover, students did not perceive themselves as 'stakeholders' in staff research, in the sense that 'they had little appreciation of why it was taking place, which members of staff were doing what, what the expected/required benefits were that students should experience and, often, no sense that they had any ownership/involvement in these activities' (p. 135). Interestingly they also found that the higher the RAE rating of the department the greater the number of positive statements about staff research were made, but also the higher the number of negative statements.

Developing the complementary nature of teaching and research is a key strategic issue for most departments and HEIs. For example, Hattie and Marsh (1996: 533) argue fervently that 'universities need to set as a mission goal the improvement of the nexus between research and teaching. The goal should not be publish or perish, or teach or impeach, but to publish and teach effectively. The aim is to increase the circumstances in which teaching and research have occasion to meet, and to provide rewards not only for better teaching or for better research but for demonstrations of the integration between teaching and research.'
Hence if the complementarities between teaching and research are to be maximised and the adverse impacts resolved, they need to be planned for and not left to happen by accident. As Jenkins (1999) argues, 'for that "coupling" to occur requires careful action by individuals, departments, the disciplinary communities and national funding and review bodies'. For example, in New Zealand the Academic Audit Unit specifically investigates whether universities have policies to encourage a research/teaching link (Woodhouse, 1998). Some recommendations arising from the Jenkins et al. (1998) study for how research could be managed to benefit student learning are presented in Table 4. Jenkins (1998) also provides a discussion and illustration of some of the ways for linking research and teaching through the design and delivery of the geography curriculum through developing students' awareness of and ability to do geographic research, protecting staff time to do research, and limiting the disadvantages of staff involvement in research.

It is arguable that the ease with which teaching and research may be linked varies between disciplines. For example, integrating the latest research findings into undergraduate teaching may be relatively more difficult in the sciences in comparison with the humanities and social sciences, because the gap between the research frontier and the ideas and materials taught in undergraduate courses is more difficult to bridge in the sciences. The same argument may apply to physical geography in comparison to human geography.

A further key way in which the link between research and teaching can be forged is by encouraging discipline specialists to undertake research into their teaching and the ways in which their students learn.

4. Developing the standing of discipline-based pedagogic research

Research into the learning and teaching of geography is a key element of the scholarship of teaching, but relatively few geographers undertake research into their teaching and publish their findings.11 Boyer (1990) saw research as the cornerstone of the scholarship of teaching. Others have taken up this theme. For example, Prosser and Trigwell (1999: 8) argue that 'the improvement of learning and teaching is dependent upon the development of scholarship and research in teaching.' While Ramsden (1992: 5) suggests that 'higher education will benefit if those who teach enquire into the effects of their activities on their students' learning.' He also argues that 'no progress in any subject, including education, can be made without the reflective application of knowledge' (p. xi).

Research into learning ranges in a continuum from an informal evaluation of a session or a whole module at one end, to a major educational research project at the other end. In between is 'action' or 'classroom' research (Healey and Jenkins, 1999). Undoubtedly, much research into teaching and learning in geography meets the definition used in the UK's RAE of 'an original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding' (HEFCs, 1998c: Annex C). However, many studies are more concerned with practical questions that arise in the classroom and with improving student learning, than with generating research publications, though these may also be an outcome of such 'action' research projects (Angelo and Cross, 1993; Cross and Steadman, 1996; McKernan, 1996). Some characteristics of such action or classroom research projects, which are suitable for individual staff and course teams to undertake, are shown in Table 5.

One area of pedagogic research and development which has attracted much attention in recent years is the use of resource based learning (RBL) and particularly the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) (Brown and Smith, 1996; CTI, 1997; Laurillard, 1993; Race, 1993). Geographers have been active in the development and use of these modes of teaching and learning (Healey, 1998e; Healey, et al., 1996; Rich et al., 1997, 1999; Shepherd, 1998). Rich et al. (1999) assert that although there have been many unwarranted claims made about the impact of new technologies they now provide the opportunity to transform learning and teaching, while radically restructuring higher education. They go on to suggest that collaboration is the key to securing many of the potential benefits and to confronting many of the barriers. These collaborations include interactions between students, interactions between staff, collaborative development of teaching resources, databases and information centres, and joint delivery of courses and programmes. Emerging educational technologies, based on the Internet, are stimulating much interest within geography, both to enhance existing courses (e.g. O Tuathail and McCormack, 1998) and to facilitate the development of distance learning courses (Reeve, et al., 1999). The key to the development of RBL and the application of ICT is the development of appropriate educational strategies. As Ellis (1974: 42) argued, 'thinking about the computers role in education does not mean thinking about computers it means thinking about education'.

The nature of geography means that geographers are used to borrowing and adapting ideas from outside their own discipline. Arguably geographers are also more open than many other disciplines to innovations in learning, teaching and assessment (Healey, et al., 1999b). There is evidence that in the UK and the USA geography is one of the leading disciplines in pedagogic innovation. For example, in the UK geography is the only discipline which received funding from HEFCE's Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) and the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning and the Department for Education and Employments' Discipline Networks and Key Skills programmes. Geography also has its own international journal - the Journal of Geography in Higher Education - dedicated to promoting learning and teaching of the subject (Healey, 1998a).

Currently there are, as Jenkins (1997: 13) points out, 'lower standards of evidence and scholarship demonstrated in discussions about the teaching of geography than those of the discipline per se'. This lack of professionalism, he argues, 'reflects the lower status teaching and research on discipline-based pedagogy occupies vis-à-vis research on the discipline per se'. It is important, if the status of pedagogic research is to be raised, that the same standards are applied to pedagogic journals as for other discipline journals (Weimer, 1993; 1997). Although this criticism applies less to geography than many other disciplines, there is a tension for editors of discipline pedagogic journals in trying to raise the level of scholarship of the articles published, while not discouraging discipline-specialists from writing (and reading) their journals (Healey, 1998a).

5. Developing the role of discipline networks

The final topic to be considered in this paper is the role of discipline networks in developing the scholarship of teaching geography in higher education. Whereas the previous topics have concerned direct ways of enhancing the scholarship of teaching, the development of discipline networks is an important mechanism for promoting and facilitating the other aspects. Geographers have accumulated a lot of experience in developing educational networks, at least in relation to most other disciplines.12 These include the Virtual Geography Department in the USA and the Geography Discipline Network in the UK. However, most of what has occurred has been project-based (Healey, 1998a, b, c). The Computers in Teaching Initiative in the UK, with a centre at the University of Leicester devoted to Geography, Geology and Meteorology is an exception (Robinson et al., 1998). The HEFCs' initiative to establish 24 subject centres in the UK holds out the potential for the development of permanent teaching communities owned by the disciplines (HEFCs 1998b).

Whereas the strength of subject networks is that they build on the propensity for staff to value their discipline contacts, their main weakness is the tendency for insularity. Not only can insularity mean that the network does not benefit from exposure to new ideas, but it can also lead to the needless recreating of wheels. One of the strengths of geographers is that they are good at collaborating. However, a significant problem for many discipline networks is that they do not see beyond their discipline. This came out in Weimer's (1993) review of discipline-based pedagogic journals. She found that most of the journals exist in a sort of splendid isolation with respect to any writing or research done outside the field. Links to related subject networks are important, not only because many of the ideas discussed are transferable, but also because there is a need to address the issues faced by discipline specialists working in interdisciplinary centres. The development of the HEFCs' Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences should encourage greater links between these related subjects, but will bring a challenge for how the centre can serve a multi-disciplinary community effectively, while recognizing the different academic cultures and practices of the three subjects.

One way in which the isolation of subject networks can be reduced is to involve educational developers in their operation, although this is relatively rare (Healey, 1998a). An exception is the Geography Discipline Network Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL) project, in which nine educational developers, one in each of the nine institutions in the consortium, were members of the project team. Two of the four UK advisers were also educational developers. The project gained from their insight, particularly in designing the style and preparing the content of the ten guides to good practice in teaching, learning and assessing geography and the associated workshops (Gravestock and Healey, 1998; Healey and Gravestock, 1997; 1998; Healey, 1999).13

International links are also important. Despite educational systems differing from one nation to another, much of the pedagogy suitable for a discipline in one country is transferable to teaching the same discipline in another country, and where the practices are not transferable it is illuminating to explore why this is the case. International networking is seen as an indicator of the health of research networks, but is less frequent among networks in higher education (Healey, 1998c). A major step forward has been the establishment of an International Network for Learning and Teaching Geography in Higher Education, which was launched at an international symposium held prior to the AAG Annual Conference in March 1999 (Hay et al., 1999b; Healey, et al., 1999b).

IV  Conclusion

This paper began with the argument that developing the scholarship of teaching can make an important contribution to the progress of geography. Good teaching matters, as Kropotkin (1885) noted over a century ago. It stimulates interest in geography, contributes to international understanding, and promotes the standing of the subject. Unfortunately, more recently the role of teaching in the progress of geography has largely been ignored, in part because of the higher status given to research in universities in the late twentieth century. There are indications that this imbalance is beginning to be recognized with calls to give legitimacy to the full scope of academic work. The international debate, led by Boyer's (1990: 24) call for 'a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar' by recognizing that 'knowledge is acquired through research, through synthesis, through practice, and through teaching', provides many challenges for institutions, departments and individual academics.

Although HEIs would expect to be engaged in all four forms of scholarship, the balance between them will vary widely according to their missions. Thus the profile of activities at Liverpool Hope University College is different from that of University College London. At the level of geography departments, the key issue is the extent to which staff should be encouraged to specialize in the different forms of scholarship. There are similar questions of balance for individuals over time. It is important that academics should be encouraged, if they so wish, to concentrate on different forms of scholarship at different stages of their careers. Several years ago Elton (1987: 303), suggested that 'the way forward for universities is not to be divided into teaching and research institutions, but to make sure that scholarship flourishes in them all and supports both teaching and research.' He goes on to argue for 'a quite radical change in the value system of universities, giving equal value to excellence in teaching, scholarship and research, and a much greater differentiation of function between different academics. At any given time, some will excel at teaching, some at scholarship, some at research; few all three and - hopefully - none at none.'

This paper has focused on developing the multiple scholarships of teaching in geography in higher education. However, despite many calls for valuing and rewarding the scholarship of teaching (e.g. Abler et al., 1994; Boyer, 1990), the concept of a scholarship of teaching is unfamiliar to many university teachers (Baume, 1996). What is needed is for 'teachers in higher education to bring to their teaching activities the same critical, doubting and creative attitude which they bring habitually to their research activities' (Elton, 1987: 50). Whether it is those who see themselves primarily as teachers, who become the pedagogic researchers in geography, or subject-based geography researchers diversify into researching into the teaching of their subject, does not really matter. Encouraging both to be involved will help to raise the status of teaching and discipline-based pedagogic research and emphasize that the common feature linking teaching and research is learning.

Teaching will only be properly valued in higher education, Martin argues (1998), 'when it is publicly seen to be a scholarly pursuit. This means communicating the way we as scholarly teachers:

Geography education networks have a vital role to play in facilitating this communication and encouraging university teachers of geography to develop a scholarly approach to the way they teach, and the way they research and write about their teaching and their students' learning. Developing the scholarship of teaching in higher education should make an important contribution to the progress of geography. As Barnett (1992: 636) notes, 'if we are seriously interested in promoting the quality of higher education, of improving the effectiveness by which teachers teach and students learn, it is to the teaching process we must look. In short, if we are concerned about higher education, it is to higher education that we must turn, rather than research'.

It was stated in the introduction that this paper has been written to encourage discussion. It has already benefited from the comments of those listed in the Acknowledgements. It is hoped that it will receive more debate from readers of this journal.

Acknowledgements

This paper has benefited immeasurably from many conversations with Alan Jenkins about the topic. I should also like to acknowledge the helpful comments on an earlier draft from Lewis Elton, Susan Hardwick, Richard Le Heron, Elaine Martin, Kristine Mason-O'Connor, Eric Pawson, Carolyn Roberts, Ifan Shepherd, and Shan Wareing. Ron Johnston and the anonymous referees also challenged me to clarify and expand my argument in several places. However, as always, responsibility for the views expressed remain those of the author.

Notes

1 Good teaching and inspiring teachers are often cited in the prefaces of books as influential in stimulating the authors to study geography (e.g. Haggett, 1965).

2 This is reflected in HEFCE's decision to provide £30m a year to encourage and reward good teaching at institutional, subject and individual levels (HEFCE, 1998).

3 An interesing discussion of some of the inadequacies of the concepts of 'teaching' and 'research' for distinguishing between different aspects of the academic role is provided by Rowland (1996).

4 Many of the arguments also apply to postgraduate teaching and research supervision which have grown in significance in recent years and dominate the teaching profile of some departments, particularly in the United States. However, the distinctions between teaching and research are less clear at postgraduate level.

5 Some confirmation for this comes from the evaluation of the 50 department based workshops run by the Geography Discipline Network in 1998-9. One of the most common responses was that the workshops were appreciated because it gave staff an opportunity to learn about what each other were doing in their teaching and to discuss teaching issues as a department. Where a culture of discussion about teaching exists it can be an 'exhilarating' place to work (Hardwick, 1999).

6 Two recent developments are moving in this direction. The first was taken by the Higher Education Study Group (HESG) of the RGS-IBG at their AGM in January 1999, when they decided to introduce an annual award of £100 to an individual considered to have made 'a significant contribution to teaching, learning and assessment in geography in the UK'. The HESG Award in Geography is restricted to staff who have had no more than 10 years service in higher education. Special consideration will be given to individuals whose contribution is judged to extend beyond their host department. The second initiative is being undertaken by the Journal of Geography in Higher Education (JGHE), which is in the process of implementing a regular JGHE lecture to take place at the major geographical conferences. The first is to be held at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference at Sussex in January 2000.

7 The workshop is being developed by a consortium consisting of four projects funded by HEFCE's Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning led by the Geography Discipline Network (GDN). The other three projects are the Earth Sciences Staff Development project, the Programme for Science Education Enhancement and Development (SEED) and the Hertfordshire Integrated Learning Project (HILP).

8 Interestingly, the assumption is that research productivity enhances teaching effectiveness and not the other way round. Few authors suggest that the creation of specialized research centres, in which staff undertake little or no teaching, has a detrimental effect on research, yet many hold to the view that the separation of teaching from research would have a deleterious effect on the quality of teaching. It is rarely argued that being a good teacher enhances personal research productivity, although there are clear benefits in terms of good communication and Gardiner (1993) provides some examples of how teaching can enhance research in geography.

9 Of course, this does not preclude staff not involved directly in discovery research being good teachers. Indeed, Brew and Boud (1995b: 271) suggest that good teachers will be engaged in deep learning in 'their own teaching-focused critically reflective enquiry'.

10 If different measures of teaching and research quality are used the apparent positive relationship between teaching and research quality can be reversed. In Astin's (1995) comprehensive study of the faculty of 212 colleges and universities in the United States he compared the institutions' research orientation (measured by variables such as publications and time spent on research activities) with their orientation to undergraduate teaching (measured by variables such as the extent to which faculty were interested in student's academic problems and were accessible to students). He found a strong negative correlation (r = - 0.69) between institutions which were research oriented and those which were student oriented. Measured in this way research orientation and teaching orientation seem mutually incompatible. The main reason for this is that there is strong competition for the lecturers' scarcest resource: time. Only a small number of liberal arts colleges came anywhere near to maintaining even a modestly strong emphasis on both undergraduate teaching and research (Astin and Chang, 1995).

11 One of the reasons for this is that the status of pedagogic research, both in general and in the disciplines, needs clarifying. For example, in the UK obtaining recognition for undertaking pedagogic research has led to calls for the establishment of a separate unit of assessment devoted to higher education in the HEFCs' RAE; and for discipline specialists being allowed to submit to both their discipline unit and a new pedagogic research in higher education unit (Healey, 1998d; Macdonald, 1999; Yorke, 1998). The rejection of these arguments by the HEFCs is now leading to demands that subject-based RAE Panels take pedagogic research into the disciplines more seriously.

12 A useful list of recent higher education geography projects, groups and journals is included in the appendix to the paper by Hay et al. 1999a.

13 An indication of the success of this partnership comes from one of the reviews of the guides, which stated that 'Geography is a better discipline for their presence: they make a difference by their encouragement not only to do better but to do so in better - educational - ways.' (Butterfield et al., 1999: 246). It is, of course, important that the educational developers also 'exemplify the commitment to scholarship which they espouse' (Candy, 1998).

 

Table 1  Recent government reports and consultation papers on learning and teaching in higher education in the UK


Report Subject


Dearing (NCIHE, 1997) Report on future of higher education over next 20 years
Booth Report (Accreditation of Teaching in Higher Education Planning Group, 1998) Proposals for the development of a national accreditation scheme for teaching in higher education
ILT Initial Consultation (CVCP, 1998) Initial consultation paper on an Institute for Learning and Teaching
ILT Planning Group (1998) Proposals for the development of the Institute of Learning and Teaching
Learning and Teaching Strategy Consultation (HEFCE, 1998) Proposals for strategy to support learning and teaching in higher education
Atkins Report (HEFCs, 1998a) An evaluation of the Computers in Teaching Initiative and Teaching and Learning Technology Support Network
Subject Centres Consultation (HEFCs, 1998b) Consultation for subject centres to support learning and teaching in higher education
Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL) Evaluation (HEFCE and DENI, 1998) Evaluation of the FDTL
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Consultation (QAA, 1998a) Consultation on quality assurance and standards framework
QAA plans for subject benchmarking and programme specification (QAA, 1998b) Sets out quality assurance framework that the Agency will now develop and implement
DfEE Learning Age Green Paper (DfEE, 1998) Consultation on how lifelong learning can be encouraged
CVCP Skills Report (CVCP, 1998) A report on encouraging HEIs to prepare students better for the world of work and place greater emphasis on the development of employability skills

 

Table 2    Principles of good practice in undergraduate education


Principles

1 Encourages student-faculty contact
2 Encourages cooperatioin among students
3 Encourages active learning
4 Gives prompt feedback
5 Emphasizes time on task
6 Communicates high expectations
7 Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Source: Chickering and Gamzon (1987: 3)

 

Table 3    Quality enhancement processes for research and for teaching


For quality in research For quality in teaching

Selecting and appointing excellent researchers
Selecting and appointing (potentially) excellent teachers
Training in the scholarship of research Training in the scholarship of teaching
Peer review of research proposals
Peer review of course proposals
Funding for research projects Funding for teaching projects
Good research facilities Good teaching facilities
Reading and discussing the literature Reading and discussing the literature
Co-operative research in teams Co-operative teaching in teams
Presenting accounts of research in progress
Presenting accounts of teaching in progress
Peer review of publications Peer review of teaching
Reward, recognition and promotion for excellence in research Reward, recognition and promotion for excellence in teaching

Source: Gibbs (1995a: 151)

 

Table 4    Policy recommendations for managing staff research to benefit the quality of student learning


Policy Recommendations

Staff absence from the institution and lack of availability to students need to be managed in order to ensure that they do not affect students too adversely
Students should have opportunities to benefit from research and from their staff involvement in research
Institutions and subject groupings should be required to monitor and identify how their research policy impacts on and supports the undergraduate curriculum
Institutions and, in particular, departments/subject groups should inform and perhaps involve students in staff research
Subject groups, when designing their curricula, should consider how that curriculum can integrate (staff) research to benefit student learning
The (potential) teaching ability of staff needs to be a key concern at appointment, initial training, appraisal and promotion, but these procedures should also recognise how staff incorporate their research into their teaching

Source: Jenkins et al. (1998: 136-139)

 

Table 5    Characteristics of 'action' or 'classroom' research


Characteristics  

Learner-centred Focus on learner responses to teaching rather than teacher performance
Teacher-directed Focus on teachers as active investigators, engaged in studies of learning in their discipline
Collaborative Research enriched by discussion and collaboration with colleagues and sharing analysis and interpretation with students
Context-specific Focus on specific questions in an identified class
Scholarly Requires identification of research questions, appropriate research design, consideration of implications for practice
Practical and relevant Focus on practical questions teacher faces in teaching; measure of quality is its contribution to knowledge and practice of the teacher
Continual More process than product, with new projects emerging from past investigations

Source: Cross and Steadman (1996: 2-4)

 

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