Learning & Teaching in HE

Light, Greg, Cox, Roy, and Calkins, Susanna (2009), Learning and teaching in higher education : the reflective professional (2nd edn.; Los Angeles, Calif. ; London: Sage) 341p.

Gibbons et al (1994) the move from disciplinary-based knowledge situated in an academic context (in which experts construct knowledge) towards trans-disciplinary knowledge located in a context of application (in which students construct knowledge for themselves) 



Provides theoretical framework for teaching in HE from ad hoc to skills to the professional but is also helpful in distinguishing between a call for professionalism – externally driven accountability and call to professionalism – echoes a call to arms – to defend academic values and practices from the excess of excellence. 


The call to professionalism resists the nostalgic laissez-faire-ism of the benign amateur, while refusing the succumb to behavioural competence. 


What’s interesting here is that the focus is not restricted to the events and situations of practices but the social context within which that practice occurs. Broader then Schön which is a reaction against the narrowness of competence. It seems to suggests a conception of teaching is committed to social justice rather then learning as including a dynamic which changes conciousness of context. 


Is here developing a professional language of practice based on dialogic views of language and constructivist theories of knowledge. 

Constructivism: knowledge is constructed by individuals through the use of language and other symbolic and cultural systems. Bruner 1996.


Three dimensions

Reality – discovered or invented, Light et al argue for knowledge as ‘social narrative’ [discourse]. The key consideration here is the space for human agency.

Knowledge – internal cognitive processes or socially and culturally constructed.

[ref Piaget & Vygotsky both individual psychological process as focus but one based on cognitive psychology and the other emphasises social factors in learning]

Learning – (not Light’s naming) is knowing individual as passive spectator or individual as active constructor. <!–[if supportFields]> ADDIN EN.REFLIST <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>

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