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University lecturers as reflective practitioners: How boundaries and pre-conceived notions influence our practice
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. Mälardalens högskola. (SOS-ED)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7423-2419
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (SOS-ED)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6312-6071
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

1. Research topic/aim

The topic of this paper presentation is to analyze how we as lecturers set boundaries for interaction with students, through our pre-conceived notions of our students and of what constitutes “good” learning. As researchers and lecturers within the field of “pedagogik”, we have extensive knowledge as well as ideals concerning learning and what is needed in creating learning environments – but the suspicion is that this does not always correspond with our actions as lecturers. Part of the aim, then, is to bring our knowledge and ideals closer to our teaching practice. The other part of the aim of this paper presentation is to discuss in what ways this method of analyzing our own work might make a contribution to others’ practice and to the field of higher education research.

The aim of the presentation is to make a contribution to collegial learning and to the field of higher education research by exploring this issue.

2. Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework consists of the concept of the reflective practitioner, which was first developed by Schön (1983). Schön has characterized reflective thinking as having two forms: reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action. Reflection-in-action refers to the tacit processes of thinking which is linked with doing, and which continuously modify practice so that learning takes place. Reflection-on-action is viewed as a teacher’s thoughtful consideration and retrospective analysis in order to learn from experience (Schön, 1983; Leitch & Day, 2006). The reflective practitioner draws, of course, on the pragmatic tradition, specifically on Dewey’s idea of action and reflection as intertwined sources of creating knowledge, or rather, knowing.

These concepts are often used regarding school teachers’ work, and more rarely when discussing and analyzing the work of educators within higher education. We maintain that these concepts, as well as the methodology they imply, are fruitful in this arena as well.

3. Methodological design

This presentation is based on what may be termed action research, or introspective reflection. The method is simply put to use one’s own experience as empirical material, and use reflection and theoretical concepts in order to create new knowledge. This method is sometimes criticized for being too subjective and risks becoming too individual (Leitch & Day, 2006). We maintain that by subjecting our own practice to theoretical analysis we will be able to draw conclusions on how to bring theory and (individual) practice together, which transcend individual experiences.

4. Expected conclusions

As stated above, the paper aims to develop the notion of the university lecturer as a reflective practitioner. The conclusions will point to possibilities in reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action as ways of bringing together theoretical knowledge, ideals and teaching practice.

5. Relevance to Nordic educational research

This paper is relevant to Nordic educational research in that it makes a contribution to the research field of higher education. University lecturers’ work in higher education is one not often theorized or analyzed, and we maintain that this subject matter is of importance for NERA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Higher education, university teachers, reflection-in-action, reflecion-on-action, transformative learning
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44793OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44793DiVA, id: diva2:1334852
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association, 2018
Available from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-07-03 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Jepson Wigg, UlrikaAndersson, Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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