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Being Good at Teaching: Exploring different ways of handling the same subject in Higher Education.

Doctoral thesis
Authors Airi Rovio-Johansson
Date of public defense 1999-08-30
Opponent at public defense Professor Linda Thomas, Brunel University, London, UK.
ISBN 91-7346-357-4
Publisher Göteborg University
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 1999
Published at Department of Education, Learning and Teaching Unit
Language en
Keywords Teaching quality, Higher Education, subject matter, Management Accounting, model for analysing teaching, theory of variation, phenomenography, teaching skills;
Subject categories Social Sciences, Pedagogy

Abstract

This investigation has had three main aims. The first was concerned with revealing and describing the different ways three teachers presented, varied and handled subject matter during three specific lectures in Management Accounting in Higher Education with first year students. The second was to examine the qualitatively different ways students experienced and apprehended the content of the lectures. The third, the main objective of the study, was to investigate the possibility of developing a model for observing, describing and analysing teaching skills in Higher Education. The investigation involved three lecturers and fifteen first year undergraduate students. The empirical data consisted of three subsequent video recorded lectures by the three lecturers, comprising eighteen hours of video taped material. Five students from three different lecture groups were also interviewed after each lecture making forty-five recorded and fully transcribed interviews. The students´ experiences and understandings of the subject matter were investigated through a problem solving process where the content of the problems was related to the lectures. The theoretical rationale for the analysis of the empirical material comes from the latest development within phenomenographic research, the theory of variation. Differences between the three teachers´ ways of presenting, varying and handling the same lecture content were found and expressed in subject matter terms. The differences of the students´ experiences and understanding also expressed in subject matter terms seemed to be systematically related to the different ways in which the content of the lectures was handled by the teachers. The teacher teaching objects and the students´ learning objects revealed clear similarities. A model of description for observing and analysing teaching in Higher Education was developed.

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