Communicative competence and the improvement of university teaching: insights from the field

Abbas, Andrea and McLean, Monica (2003) Communicative competence and the improvement of university teaching: insights from the field. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24 (1). pp. 69-82. ISSN 0142-5692

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425690301913

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The arguments in this article have been generated from involvement in a government-funded project designed to improve teaching. The authors reflect on their experience and use Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative competence to argue that initiatives designed to improve university teaching often work against their own intentions by closing down opportunities for open dialogue. They argue that improvement of teaching requires undistorted communication and demonstrate that this is made difficult: by the pressure to be seen to succeed; by over-specifying what constitutes good teaching; and, by divorcing research from development. At the same time, they suggest that academics could seize opportunities to open up dialogue about teaching.

Additional Information:The arguments in this article have been generated from involvement in a government-funded project designed to improve teaching. The authors reflect on their experience and use Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative competence to argue that initiatives designed to improve university teaching often work against their own intentions by closing down opportunities for open dialogue. They argue that improvement of teaching requires undistorted communication and demonstrate that this is made difficult: by the pressure to be seen to succeed; by over-specifying what constitutes good teaching; and, by divorcing research from development. At the same time, they suggest that academics could seize opportunities to open up dialogue about teaching.
Keywords:communicative competence, Habermas, Teaching
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
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ID Code:7752
Deposited On:28 Feb 2013 08:01

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