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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2000

Burton R. Clark

Places of Inquiry identifies basic conditions and trends in modern systems of higher education that link or dissociate research, teaching, and student learning (“study”)…

Abstract

Places of Inquiry identifies basic conditions and trends in modern systems of higher education that link or dissociate research, teaching, and student learning (“study”). The book is structured in two major parts. Part I, “Distinctive National Configurations of Advanced Education and Research Organization”, in five chapters organized by country, contrasts the national arrangements of the basic elements in the five major nations of Germany, Britain, France, United States, and Japan. These chapters give play to historical determination of national peculiarities and unique arrangements. Chapter 1 particularly highlights the preeminent role played in the construction of the modern research university by nineteenthcentury developments in the German system. Emerging disciplinarians learned by trial and error to use the laboratory and the seminar in a framework of university institutes. In “the institute university”, the academic research group was born, with Humboldtian thought serving as a useful covering ideology.Chapter 2 portrays English universities, in contrast, to be focused historically on elite preparation of undergraduates—a “thin stream of excellence”—in the small worlds of Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Here, in this model, against the grain of the structure, research-centered academics learned to use the apprenticeship model for a very limited number of “research students” who were supported for advanced study toward a late-developing Ph.D. “The collegiate university” has been very different from the German configuration.Chapter 3 presents the highly unusual historical arrangements in the French setting where the universities became in effect the party of the third part, caught between the elite nature of the grandes ecoles and the domination in research of a nonuniversity research establishment. An outside set of research institutes has provided the main research base, and university research-oriented activities had to be brought into alignment with it. The genetic imprints of the system, in contrast to both the German and the British, have been one of subordination of the university, with much broad structural separation of research activity from university teaching and the university education of students. A picture of historic subordination is also found in the case of Japan (Chapter 5), where much displacement to industry has taken place. Students graduating from first-degree study have been snapped up by industry and offered better opportunity, including in research, than what the university could offer. Advanced education at universities became severely constrained. In Japanese terms, Japanese graduate schools, although formally modeled after the American structure, became “empty show windows.”The chapter on the United States traces the development of a highly competitive system of higher education in which a graduate level, separately organized within universities from undergraduate programs, provided a broad foundation for small-group laboratories and seminars in which research activity could be a means of teaching and a mode of study. Peculiar American conditions of weak secondary schooling and generous admission to higher education left much general or liberal education to be accomplished in the undergraduate years, preempting specialization. Emerging disciplinarians tried repeatedly in the mid- and late-nineteenth century to build their new research interests into the undergraduate realm. It did not work. The emergent solution was a vertical one, to add a formal graduate school on top, with its arms in the graduate programs of the departments making it “the home of science.”This major internal differentiation, in comparison to the other four major international models, made the American university a “graduate department university,” with extensive provision developing in the last half of the twentieth century for research-based teaching and learning. What the German system had been able to do on a small scale in the nineteenth century, in the context of elite higher education, the American system developed systematically the capacity to do on a much larger scale, in the context of mass higher education on the road to universal higher education.Part II of the volume, entitled “The Research-Teaching-Study Nexus,” offers a conceptual framework for understanding how modern systems of higher education do or do not effectively bring research into alignment with advanced university teaching and advanced student training. The concept of a research-teaching-study nexus serves as leitmotiv. In Chapter 6, devoted to “forces of fragmentation,” adverse conditions for this nexus are largely subsumed under the twin concepts of research drift and teaching drift, with certain interests of government and industry strengthening inherent tendencies, already stimulated by mass enrollments and great growth in knowledge, for research on the one side and teaching and learning on the other to drift apart.But the nexus survives, often with great resilience and strength, and, in Chapter 7, the central part of the conceptual analysis takes the form of an explanation of how a modern integration is most strongly effected. Supporting conditions and processes are identified at three levels: whole national system, where differentiation, decentralization, and competition serve as broad enabling elements; the individual university, where diversified funding and deliberate organization of advanced education play an increasingly large determining role; and the basic unit (departmental) level within universities, where the activities of research, teaching, and study are located. At the base, operational conditions are captured in the twin concepts of research group and teaching group, each dependent on the other and closely intertwined in a veritable double helix of linkage and interaction. These twin settings for professors and students permit the linked transmission of tacit and tangible knowledge.As both the tacit and the tangible components of specialized knowledge bulk ever larger, they cannot be suitably conveyed by undergraduate or first-degree teaching programs alone, or by historic mentor-apprentice relationships alone. The research-teaching-study nexus is increasingly enacted by operational units of universities that bring together an advanced teaching program and the learning-by-doing of research activity. In this organizational nexus we find the heart of the graduate school phenomenon.The concluding chapter (Chapter 8) goes beyond analysis of the research-teaching-study nexus by offering three broad conclusions for the understanding of modern higher education: first, that inquiry remains the central activity, the dynamic element, in the university complex; second, that complexity and contradiction in university activities are inevitable and will continue to grow, ruling out simple solutions to long-term problems and placing a premium on how individual universities go about organizing themselves; and third, that research and teaching have an “essential compatibility.” Research activity itself is a compelling and rich basis for teaching and learning, primarily in graduate education in the arts and sciences but also secondarily in both advanced professional education and undergraduate or pre-advanced education. The much-voiced view that research and teaching are incompatible is short-sighted and regressive. The incompatibility thesis should give way to a more fundamental understanding in which research activity is seen both as a compelling form of teaching and as a necessary method of learning.For all modern and modernizing systems of higher education, the book emphasizes the great importance of organizing master's and especially doctoral work so that the activities of specialized research groups interact with structured teaching programs.In sum: Places of Inquiry concentrates on graduate (advanced) education, a level of higher education that has been rarely studied. It depicts distinctive configurations of academic research and advanced training in the five major national systems of higher education of the late twentieth century. It highlights research activity as a basic for teaching and learning. And it identifies generic conditions that pull research, teaching, and study apart from each other, and conversely and most important, focuses attention on the structures and processes that work to keep these central university activities closely linked.

Details

Comparative Perspectives on Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-679-4

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2019

Marie Björk

This paper describes and discusses aspects that affect research questions in a practice-based research study, where learning study is used as a framework. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes and discusses aspects that affect research questions in a practice-based research study, where learning study is used as a framework. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to understanding of the process where teachers and a researcher collaborate in transforming practical teaching problems into research questions.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study is conducted. Data consist of field notes, logbooks, manuscripts and conference papers from two learning studies conducted in grade 4 by three teachers and one researcher, and notes from meetings in a subject-teacher group at the school. The analysis focuses on how the research questions emerge and change in relation to discussions among teachers and in the research group of teaching, previous research and learning theory.

Findings

Questions about students’ discernment of the structure in the base-ten system emerged in learning study 1 and in the subject-teacher group. Discussions of previous research and the didactical theory learning activity transformed the research questions in learning study 2, into focusing students’ theoretical knowledge, examining general structures in the base system, using learning models as tools. Conditions for identification of specific teaching problems and alternative theory in a learning study are discussed.

Originality/value

The explicit example where research questions are transformed can be used in further discussions and methodological questions regarding formulation of research questions in educational research. Discussions, specifically of transforming research questions, when learning study is used may be promoted.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2020

Guoyuan Sang, Jun Zhou and Abdulghani Muthanna

This qualitative study aimed to explore how the school–university partnership (SUP) enhances the elementary teachers' professional development in a school-based setting.

Abstract

Purpose

This qualitative study aimed to explore how the school–university partnership (SUP) enhances the elementary teachers' professional development in a school-based setting.

Design/methodology/approach

By following the qualitative case study methodology, this case study employs semi-structured interviews (the authors designed) with 10 school teachers and administrators. The authors adapted the iterative process analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1984) for compiling, coding, annotating the data and interpreting the interview transcripts. The authors also used the member checking technique that establishes credibility in a qualitative study (Lincoln and Guba, 1985) with six participants.

Findings

The findings suggest that participating in a series of professional learning activities led to the enhancement of teachers' and administrators learning experiences in view of educational theories, action research abilities, teaching efficiency, teaching research capacities and improvement of school guidelines. Further, they reveal that the participants' expectations for future SUP collaborations centred on realizing the sustainability and effectiveness of collaborations, and autonomy of teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the current study include its focus on a single SUP within one school and the reliance on data collected only by interviews during the SUP process. This study offers implications for teacher learning within SUP collaborations. First, schools should consider how to involve and influence all teachers rather than SUP core members only. To this end, authentic professional learning communities need to be constructed. Second, universities should pay much more attention to the professional development of their faculty members towards integration of theoretical knowledge and practical experiences.

Originality/value

This original study explores practical ways of improving teachers' theoretical and practical teaching practices/experiences through SUP projects, and contributes new knowledge to the teaching professional development of school teachers and administrators.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Rongjin Huang, Jianyue Zhang, Ida Ah Chee Mok, Wenjun Zhao, Yuanfang Zhou and Zhengsheng Wu

The purpose of this paper is to explore what professional knowledge and competence (PKC) that knowledgeable others, namely, mathematics teaching research specialists…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what professional knowledge and competence (PKC) that knowledgeable others, namely, mathematics teaching research specialists (MTRS) in China, need to know, and how they may develop their PKC.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts mixed methods. A survey on PKC with 549 MTRS is utilized to examine MTRS’ perceived held and ideal PKC and perceived effective ways of developing their PKC. The responses to the open-ended questions on the survey were used to identify additional dimensions of PKC and ways of developing PKC. Multiple techniques of quantitative data analysis were employed to feature the characteristics of PKC and structure of the survey, and the relationship between background variables and perception of PKC. Collectively, this study paints a rich and comprehensive picture about Chinese knowledgeable others’ knowledge and competence, and its development.

Findings

The data analysis reveals that the participants appreciated the six-dimension model of MTRS’ PKC. They were confident with their PKC in general, but varied in different aspects. The factor analysis showed the six-dimension model could be further clustered into two components: knowledge about mathematics teaching and learning and competence in mentoring and educational leadership, and knowledge about content, assessing student learning, and use of technology. The participants perceived their learning through multiple ways including: learning through reading, attending specific training programs, attending and mentoring teaching research activities both school-based and across regions, observing and debriefing lessons, sharing within online learning communities. All these venues jointly contribute to developing MTRS’ PKC.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study on MTRS’ PKC and its development in China based on such a large sample. The findings of this study not only contribute to an understanding of knowledgeable others in Chinese lesson study and providing suggestions for support of their development, but also provide implications for studies of practice-based mathematics teacher-educators globally.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Yanping Fang

Emerging research on education reform in Shanghai for the last decade or so has either focused on broad contexts and trends of the second-cycle curriculum reform or the…

Abstract

Purpose

Emerging research on education reform in Shanghai for the last decade or so has either focused on broad contexts and trends of the second-cycle curriculum reform or the professional development in response to the reform or a few detailed cases of teaching improvement to meet the reform demand. Little attention has been paid to how schools as institutions have been made to respond to and enact the reform. Through three detailed school cases, the purpose of this paper is to understand their distinctive responses to reform in terms of how they interpreted, enacted and sustained their reform efforts and how more importantly lesson-case study and multi-tiered research projects has become a reinvigorated form of Chinese lesson study and teaching research to significantly mediate the school’s curriculum reform efforts. Features of sustainable development behind these cases are conceptualized by Lave and Wenger’s notion of transparency of the mediating technology of a community of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on master’s thesis reports of school leaders (2010-2016), school research publications and lesson cases as secondary data sources, an instrumental multi-case research design was adopted to build detailed case narratives and tease out cross-case comparisons.

Findings

Building on unique strengths and legacies to solve school problems, the three secondary schools responded to, enacted and sustained the reform in unique ways: case 1, a municipal key school, has focused on “three translations (of curriculum)” involving all teaching research groups (TRGs) in specifying broad curriculum standards and turning them into concrete, actionable designs and student tasks which are tested and refined through iterative cycles of lesson-case study, with the decision making for each translation informed by research projects studying problems arising. Case 2, a district key school, has capitalized on its strong TRGs and used research projects and lesson-case study to unite teaching, research and PD into a whole; and case 3, a regular neighborhood school, has aimed to build a structured PD system to tackle teacher stagnation by stressing the reflection components of each cycle of lesson-case study, challenging teachers to learn in the district-level curriculum integration experiment, and nudging them into their own research projects with well-staged support. In all the three cases, research projects have been networked connecting municipal, district, school and teachers in building a research climate. The lesson-case study has turned designs into refined actions to ensure quality of curriculum implementation and teacher growth.

Originality/value

This study yields insights into the inner workings of Shanghai’s recent curriculum reform. With strategic injection of research into the familiar institutional structures and organic cultural forms of collegiality, school innovations can be built on familiarity to create a sense of continuity, coherence and institutional identity so that teachers learn from doing with least disruption. The slow and steady work of sustaining innovations and reform goes beyond simple notions of scaling up and relies on building internal drive and institutional and teacher capacity for deep learning in responding to reform.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Innovations in Science Teacher Education in the Asia Pacific
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-702-3

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Wanty Widjaja, Susie Groves and Zara Ersozlu

The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and delivery of a lesson study unit in mathematics to pre-service primary teachers and to identify the opportunities…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and delivery of a lesson study unit in mathematics to pre-service primary teachers and to identify the opportunities and challenges resulting from the need to deliver the unit wholly online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-case analysis, using a before-and-after design, was used to compare the development and delivery of the unit in 2019 and 2020, with the pivotal event of interest between the before-and-after cases being the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

The content and structure of the unit, as well as its collaborative aspects, remained substantially the same in the before-and-after cases. While there was a low level of engagement with pre-recorded lectures, there was a high level of engagement and participation in the online synchronous seminars, together with a marked increase in overall satisfaction with the unit. Pre-service teachers were unable to teach and observe one another's planned research lessons in school. Instead, after a detailed examination of the task, the lesson plan and student solutions, they observed a pre-recorded video of a research lesson at a local school and participated in a streamed post-lesson discussion. Pre-service teachers regarded this new component as a highlight of the unit and an important connection between the theory and practice of lesson study.

Originality/value

The inclusion of the video-recorded research lesson in 2020 introduced a new level of authenticity for pre-service teachers, allowing them to observe a high quality structured problem solving mathematics lesson taught in a local public school, as part of a local implementation of lesson study-something that is not generally possible. While there is often a view that the benefits of lesson study result mainly from collaborative planning and teaching of the research lesson, this paper highlights the value of involvement for all participants in research lesson observation and post-lesson discussion, as well as the opportunities afforded by the use of “virtual lesson study”.

Details

International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Xingfeng Huang, Mun Yee Lai and Rongjin Huang

This study aimed to explore how a group of Chinese primary mathematics teachers learned through conducting an online cross-cultural lesson study between China and Australia.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to explore how a group of Chinese primary mathematics teachers learned through conducting an online cross-cultural lesson study between China and Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

An expansive learning theory was adopted to examine teachers' learning through collective activities across different activity systems. Multiple data sets including videos of research lessons, debriefings and audios of interviews were collected. From the expansive learning perspective, based on a fine-grained qualitative data analysis, various contradictions (as driving forces of learning) were identified and the ways of resolving the contradictions (as enactment of learning) were located to feature teacher learning throughout the online lesson study process.

Findings

Teachers' expansive learning includes enhancing teachers' MKT and Mathematics TPACK, developing instructional design skills and capabilities in addressing challenges occurring in the virtual environment were identified.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, the study illustrated how expansive learning theory could be utilized to examine teacher collaborative learning in the online cross-cultural lesson study. Practically, this study showed that reiterative cycles and experts' facilitation are crucial to expansive learning for linking research to classroom practice. However, this study did not focus on student learning in the virtual environment. Australian teachers' reciprocal learning through the online lesson study also requires further exploration.

Originality/value

Both online lesson study and cross-cultural collaboration are innovative. The expansive learning lens are creatively used to examine the complexity of teacher learning in such a novel environment.

Details

International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Rongjin Huang, Yanping Fang and Xiangming Chen

Although CLS has been implemented in China for over a century, it is barely known to educators internationally. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the salient…

Abstract

Purpose

Although CLS has been implemented in China for over a century, it is barely known to educators internationally. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the salient characteristics of Chinese lesson study (CLS), introduce the major themes of this special issue, and invite dialogues about the theories and practices of CLS.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors of this editorial paper conducted an extensive literature review on CLS, analyzed the contents and methods of the existing research categorically, compared CLS with other models of LS globally, and present this special issue articles and their major contributions thematically. The theoretical framework of the paper relies mainly on cultural theories and theories on research paradigms such as improvement science, which explain why and how CLS functions in Chinese education system over time.

Findings

Existing studies suggest that CLS is a deliberate practice for developing instructional expertise, a research methodology for linking research and practice, and an improvement science for instruction and school improvement system wide. In addition to the theorization of CLS, this special issue also introduces some adaptations of CLS outside of China such as the USA and Italy.

Originality/value

This paper, for the first time, spells out some salient features of CLS, and discusses issues in adapting CLS in other parts of the world. It will enrich the understanding of LS theories and practices in China and promotes trans-cultural development of LS internationally.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Rongjin Huang and Xue Han

The purpose of this paper is to examine practicing mathematics teachers’ learning through parallel lesson study in China. Lesson study in China has been practiced for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine practicing mathematics teachers’ learning through parallel lesson study in China. Lesson study in China has been practiced for decades. Parallel lesson is an enriched mode of lesson study to address the implementation of new curriculum.

Design/methodology/approach

The expansive learning perspective has been used to explore the ways practicing teachers learned to improve teaching through the transformation of learning objects and boundary crossing.

Findings

Two cases are illustrated and compared to highlight features of teachers’ learning through parallel lesson study. The practicing teachers developed their competence in transforming instructional objectives and task selection and implementation. In addition, they also developed professional vision in alignment with the reform-oriented curriculum.

Originality/value

This study makes significant contribution to understanding teachers’ learning through lesson study in China. Meanwhile, it also demonstrates how the theory of expansive learning could be used as a conceptual framework to examine teachers’ learning through lesson study.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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