Qualitative research as a method for making just comparisons of pedagogic quality in higher education: a pilot study

Abbas, Andrea and McLean, Monica (2007) Qualitative research as a method for making just comparisons of pedagogic quality in higher education: a pilot study. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28 (6). pp. 723-737. ISSN 0142-5692

Full content URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/014256...

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Systems designed to ensure that teaching and student learning are of a suitable quality are a feature of universities globally. Quality assurance systems are central to attempts to internationalise higher education, motivated in part by a concern for greater global equality. Yet, if such systems incorporate comparisons, the tendency is to reflect and reproduce inequalities in higher education. Highlighting the European context, we argue that, if higher education is to play a part in tackling social inequalities, we must seek alternative methods to explore pedagogic quality in institutional settings. The sociologist Basil Bernstein's concepts of "classification" and "framing" provide an illustration of the potential of sociologically informed, qualitative approaches for exploring and improving higher education pedagogy and also for addressing social justice issues: these two concepts are used to analyse documentation about undergraduate sociology in two universities that have quite different reputations within the English and Northern Irish higher education system. (Contains 5 notes.)

Additional Information:Systems designed to ensure that teaching and student learning are of a suitable quality are a feature of universities globally. Quality assurance systems are central to attempts to internationalise higher education, motivated in part by a concern for greater global equality. Yet, if such systems incorporate comparisons, the tendency is to reflect and reproduce inequalities in higher education. Highlighting the European context, we argue that, if higher education is to play a part in tackling social inequalities, we must seek alternative methods to explore pedagogic quality in institutional settings. The sociologist Basil Bernstein's concepts of "classification" and "framing" provide an illustration of the potential of sociologically informed, qualitative approaches for exploring and improving higher education pedagogy and also for addressing social justice issues: these two concepts are used to analyse documentation about undergraduate sociology in two universities that have quite different reputations within the English and Northern Irish higher education system. (Contains 5 notes.)
Keywords:Quality, Inequality, Basil Bernstein, Qualitative Research, Documentary Analysis, Curricula, Social Class
Subjects:L Social studies > L433 Education Policy
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:6536
Deposited On:27 Feb 2013 22:36

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