Variation in education doctoral students’ conceptions of university teaching

Mimirinis, Mike ORCID: and Ahlberg, Kristina (2020) Variation in education doctoral students’ conceptions of university teaching. British Educational Research Journal. ISSN 0141-1926

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The development of doctoral students as university teachers has received substantially less attention compared with their development as researchers, with a similar deficit extending to research on how they experience and understand university teaching. This article reports the results of a phenomenographic study of education doctoral students’ conceptions of teaching in higher education. Using samples from two education departments in England and Sweden, we conducted interviews to identify variation in doctoral students’ experiences of university teaching. Analysis of the transcripts produced six qualitatively different conceptions of teaching: doctoral students conceptualised university teaching as a means of (A) transmitting knowledge, (B) presenting contrasting concepts of education, (C) communicating and engaging with students, (D) enabling students to apply knowledge and skills, (E) enabling students to interpret and compare concepts of education, and (F) promoting personal, professional and societal development and change. While in broad agreement with previous studies on university teachers’ conceptions of teaching, the study offers a unique insight into how the subject of education is understood by doctoral students who teach. The findings also underline the need to introduce common frameworks of academic development for academics and doctoral students alike that prioritise ways of representing and engaging with the structure of the subject, rather than the acquisition of teaching skills.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1002/berj.3669
Keywords: conceptions of teaching, teaching development, phenomenography, doctorate in education
Subjects: Education > Teaching and learning
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mike Mimirinis
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:04


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