In the classroom, in the field: expert perspectives on the challenge of experiential learning in advance methods teaching

Lewthwaite, Sarah and Collins, Debbie and Nind, Melanie (2016) In the classroom, in the field: expert perspectives on the challenge of experiential learning in advance methods teaching. In: RC33 9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology, 15 September 2016, University of Leicester. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There is a considerable consensus that developing the pedagogic culture around social research methods is necessary to the development of that pedagogy (Wagner et al 2011; Earley 2014; Kilburn et al 2014). Dialogue between teachers of research methods is critical to this pedagogic culture, as is the generation of evidence about teachers’ pedagogic practices. This is particularly pertinent as the balance of methods education is shifting from students learning through practising as researchers, to more systematic tuition; a shift in part attributable to concerns about global competiveness demanding a critical mass of highly skilled social researchers (Nind et al, 2015). The research discussed in this paper is an attempt to build pedagogic culture by involving teachers and learners of research methods in sharing and generating pedagogic knowledge through a multi-component study of the pedagogy of methodological learning . In this paper we focus on one aspect of this work: the pedagogic challenge associated with methods learning that, rather than meeting specific and immediate goals as a researcher, involves learning that is intentional but unsituated. This is the learning that takes place out of context, for which the purpose and utility will be known at another time in a remote situation (Crook & Lewthwaite, 2010). Methods teachers are grappling with formal curricula, short courses, international summer schools and the expectation of online courses in which research methods must be taught out of situ while still incorporating the mix of theoretical understanding, skills and procedural knowledge that is particular to methods teaching (Kilburn et al., 2014). In the paper we examine (i) the reflections of social research methods teachers on the particular pedagogic challenges of conveying the implicit and tacit knowledge that are frequently evoked only in the doing of research; and (ii) what we know about the role that digital technology plays in tackling these challenges. We draw on data generated from a UK and international expert panel of methods teachers who might be considered pedagogic leaders, focus groups with methods teachers, ongoing diary reflections of methods learners, and an in-depth thematic analysis of the recent literature. We report findings pertaining to the useful ways in which methods teachers convey and manage the implicit and tacit knowledge that is frequently evoked only in the doing of research. This includes the ways in which methods teachers connect learners to the world of social research; how they provide for direct and immersive experiences of research practice; how they value and promote reflexivity; and how they use digital technology in relation to the above.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:unsituated learning, pedagogic resources, digital technology
Subjects:9. Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination > 9.6 Teaching and Supervising Research Methods
9. Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination > 9.6 Teaching and Supervising Research Methods > 9.6.1 E-learning
9. Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination > 9.6 Teaching and Supervising Research Methods > 9.6.4 Face-to-face/classroom learning
ID Code:3973
Deposited By: NCRM users
Deposited On:20 Sep 2016 15:12
Last Modified:20 Sep 2016 15:12

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