Dilly FUNG
London School of Economics & Political Science, United Kingdom

Towards a Connected Curriculum for Higher Education

What are the relationships between our research and student education? How are we characterising ‘good’ education for our students, both in the disciplines and across the institution? In this session we will draw on both philosophical underpinnings (Gadamer 2004) and scientific perspectives (Wieman and Gilbert 2015) to take a fresh look at the relationship between education, research and scholarship: what is at the heart of the academic mission? Is the purpose of higher education to provide individuals with what they need to succeed in a competitive world, or is it advancing ‘the global common good’ (UNESCO 2015)? I will argue that by integrating research and student education more readily, we can develop citizens who are highly skilled, more ethically aware and better able to articulate their future contributions to society.

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University of Otago, New Zealand

Teaching undergraduate students as researchers in the interest of powerful knowledge

I examine the concept of ‘powerful knowledge’ for higher education in the context of teaching undergraduate students as researchers. The concept was first developed in the context of vocational education but I argue that it also applies to all forms of education. The key to attaining powerful knowledge is epistemic access to the discipline. Powerful knowledge is both an outcome and part of the process of education: early acquisition can influence all subsequent formal and informal learning experiences as the student progresses though university. A curriculum model is presented in which three essential principles lead to specific personal and knowledge outcomes. The model also includes the possibility of powerful action after graduation but this idea questions the limits of a lecturer’s responsibility. Finally, I suggest that powerful knowledge may be a more appropriate objective for learning in universities as it could replace the over-specified lists of skills and attributes currently in vogue.