New Relationships between Research and Teaching

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Author(s)Bert Hoogewijs
Quite ironically, research has shown that there is little or no scientific evidence for the thesis that “Research has a beneficial effect on teaching”. Since most researchers and policymakers nevertheless continue to think and act as if it were a universal fact anyway, three main outcomes of this attitude and belief will be dissected.

One effect of this thesis is that universities see themselves as research centres first, with teaching as a derivative business. This ideology tends to cultivate secure spaces for disinterested research and to condemn ‘useful knowledge’. Taking knowledge societies into consideration, universities may be advised to contribute to social discourse and the wider public sphere – thus exchanging the closed Senate building for the open Agora square.
Second, teaching is not taken seriously without the guidance of research. It is not seen as self-contained, nor is it able to enhance itself. It must be clear however that a wide range of pedagogical approaches defined as ‘critical inquiry’ is perfectly fit to introduce research or research-like attitudes in teaching.
Third, the belief that research and teaching are the exclusive spaces to be occupied by each and every university – and by each level and discipline within that structure – leads to one-dimensional institutions. Society, however, is rather in need of a wide variety of institutions that cater for more brains and higher levels of education and schooling among a most diverse audience.

In conclusion, it would appear that new roles and spaces lie ahead for our universities - and particularly for the new universities - thus introducing new relationships between research and teaching, whereby:
• It is advisable for universities to occupy more types of spaces, notably a) pedagogical-didactical b) scholarly and c) intellectual-discursive ones.
• The scholar is seen as a bridge between research and teaching.
• ‘Critical inquiry’ methodologies can guarantee the continuation of a research culture in teaching.
• Scientific modes and content could well be certified by new types of learning, inquiring and data researching – mostly of electronic and digital nature.
• Finally, supporting research in teaching is expected to develop teaching into a self-contained discipline.
CategoriesResearch Developement and Innovation » 2006 16th Annual Conference