Research Paper

Topics: Higher education, Academia, Educational psychology Pages: 19 (6828 words) Published: April 20, 2013

In order to bring teaching and research together, a fuller understanding of how academics conceptualise research and scholarship is needed. The paper discusses different ways in which research and scholarship are conceptualised and then provides two alternative models of the relationship between teaching and research based on different conceptions of teaching and different ideas about the nature of knowledge. The paper suggests that if the relationship between teaching and research is to be enhanced it is necessary to move towards a model based on the notion of academic communities of practice. The implications for higher education of doing this are then examined. It is argued that there is a need to reconceptualise the role of higher education and to renegotiate relationships between teachers and students. Introduction A number of articles on the relationship between teaching and research, pointing to the failure to demonstrate statistically a connection between them, have indicated that efforts should be made to actively bring research and teaching together. Shore, Pinkler and Bates (1990), for example, suggest that research may serve as a model for teaching, while Barnett (1997) calls for teaching to become more research-like. Hattie and Marsh (1996) suggest that marrying teaching and research by enhancing the relationship between them is a desirable aim of universities. The suggestion that teaching and research should be more firmly drawn together should not be seen as an argument for educating all students to become academics, nor is it merely an academic exercise to prop up arguments that all academics should engage in research. Rather, it is a response to a number of changes in higher education which have challenged the relationship. These include: the move to a mass higher education system (Elton, 1992; Westergaard, 1991), the amount of time available both for teaching and for research (Hattie & Marsh, 1996), as well as changes in the nature of research and in the nature of teaching in higher education (Rowland, 1996) and changes in the nature of knowledge (Brew, 1999a). Also of relevance is a changed policy context, which Elton (1992) argues has given urgency to questions about the relationship between teaching and research.

4 A. Brew This work is matched by a concomitant and growing interest in bringing research and teaching together within higher education institutions themselves. The motivation for doing this can be seen as a response to disquiet in the academic community concerning the effects of particular funding models on the nature of academic work. In countries where there is a dual funding model, with teaching and research each being funded separately, such as in the UK or Australia, this is particularly acute. The motivations, however, appear to be different in different kinds of institution. On the one hand, there are the research universities who are seeing “research-led teaching” by active researchers as part of their competitive advantage. The idea is that students enjoy being taught by active researchers (Ramsden, 2000), researchbased institutions are full of these, and therefore the link should be exploited. On the other hand, motivations for bringing research and teaching together in institutions not strong in research can be viewed as a bid to ensure that a wedge is not drawn between teaching institutions and research institutions. A problem we have is that these calls to bring teaching and research together come at a time when many are critically questioning the role of universities, their status and function in society and the role of academic research in this; indeed, when academic research is in crisis (Brew, 2001a). This comes from such factors as growing interference from outside the academy in the setting of research agendas, increased interest in research findings by an educated public and changes in higher education which are having effects on the amount of time available...
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