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Teaching excellence in the disciplines: The range distinctiveness and impact of pedagogic approaches across disciplines within UK higher education

Conceptions of teaching quality and teaching excellence are being given increasing attention within expanded and increasingly differentiated higher education systems. Such conceptions have their origins within the disciplinary traditions and cultures of different academic disciplines. These reflect a) their cultural social political and economic development within specific higher education institutions and b) the materially distinct forms of knowledge they convey. A disciplinary identity and loyalty is a defining feature of being an academic and has often been a central requirement for successful student learning.

However with greater multi- and inter-disciplinarity combined with new attempts to measure the quality of teaching questions arise as to the distinctiveness of disciplinary conceptions of teaching quality the patterns of differences and similarities between them and the implications which these have for the overall learning experiences and achievements of students.

This project will attempt to examine these patterns of similarities and differences across disciplines by means of a literature review and by obtaining the views of deans and other senior academics with institutional responsibilities for the leadership and management of groups of disciplines. The aim is to enhance our understanding of the distinctiveness and effectiveness of different pedagogic approaches to higher education in its different disciplinary fields. The value of different pedagogic techniques and approaches needs to be understood in relation to their effectiveness in successfully allowing students to gain access to different (inter-) disciplinary knowledges.