- university research often detracts from the quality of teaching (Pocklington and Tupper 2002: 7)
- courses taught by those at the cutting edge of research will necessarily be of higher quality than those taught by those merely using the research results of others – whatever the apparent quality of their style of delivery (Lee 2004: 9)
- there is clear evidence from a range of studies in different types of institutions of students valuing learning in a research-based environment (Jenkins 2004: 29)
- students are likely to gain most benefit from research, in terms of depth of learning and understanding, when they are also involved in research (Healey and Roberts 2004)
A range of terms is used in the literature, often interchangeably, to describe the research-teaching nexus. Griffiths (2004) suggests that a distinction might be made between teaching which is predominantly:
- Research-led: where students learn about research findings, the curriculum content is dominated by staff research interests, and information transmission is the main teaching mode;
- Research-oriented: where students learn about research processes, the curriculum emphasizes as much the processes by which knowledge is produced as learning knowledge that has been achieved, and staff try to engender a research ethos through their teaching;
- Research-based: where students learn as researchers, the curriculum is largely designed around inquiry-based activities, and the division of roles between teacher and student is minimized
- Research-tutored: top left quadrant, which, although not recognized by Griffiths (2004), is student-focused and emphasizes research content (see image above)
research is context specific and multidisciplinary rather than pure and discipline based; it has social relevance rather than being hypothesis led; it uses fuzzy, rather than empirically based data; it is problem solving rather than deductive. In what might be termed the commodification of knowledge, how knowledge is managed, synthesized and adapted become as important as knowledge itself (Jenkins and Zetter, 2003: 11)
Healey, M., 2005. Linking research and teaching: exploring disciplinary spaces and the role of inquiry-based learning. In Barnett, R (ed) (2005) Reshaping the University: New Relationships between Research, Scholarship and Teaching. McGraw Hill / Open University Press, pp.67-78
Image available here
First Year students/ 30 students – one tutor/ Phase One
collage workshop – evaluation of learning through anonymous post-it notes:
- what did you grasp today? what’s still a bit confusing? (if a student didn’t understand something, however small and seemingly inconsequential, it would be
heard (anonymously) and acted on.)
- whose work did you find successful? ( to remind students that whilst their drawings grow from personal values and engagement, they succumb to the viewers’ interpretations)
collage workshop – online summary from the session was prepared
- The online space of the VLE with content structured in the form of a tutorial session served to allow students to repeatedly go over moments of uncertainty or trouble from the workshop.
The demands of project based learning are rigorous: the need to generate elements of work continuously (or fear falling behind) puts pressure on students to sidestep conceptually difficult elements by creating works that seem correct yet do not demonstrate a grasp of the underlying principles
First Year students/ 30 students – one tutor/ Phase Two
learning orthographic projection – evaluation of mistakes & omissions
- double approach: hand design and CAD design of the same process_images looked right but were not right in both design environments
learning orthographic projection – online tools for tutoring
- fifteen minute podcast and sample sketchbook as online handout
Removing activities from the scheduled studio sessions offers a strategy for responding to a stuffed curriculum and frees up time to focus on elements of transformative learning
Williams, J., 2014. The design studio as liminal space. In Charrette 1(1) Summer 2014.
Image available here
UCL’s twenty-year vision and a wholesale commitment to changing programs of study/ its goal is to enable students to participate in research and inquiry throughout their education/ allows students to make connections both vertically across a program’s year groups and horizontally across disciplinary divides, even beyond the university setting/ research-based education aspires to widen the notion of what constitutes legitimate research and who has the authority to contribute to it.
The University is changing: new ways of knowing in order to thrive in a unknown future/ in the age of supercomplexity a new epistemology for the university awaits, one that is open, bold, engaging, accessible, and conscious of its own insecurity (Barnett)
SIX DIMENSIONS OF CONNECTIVITY
- students are encouraged to connect with staff and learn about ongoing research
- connected sequence of research activities throughout students’ programs (scaffolding)
- research is inherently social/ students are encouraged to connect their learning across the subjects they are taking and with the wider world
- students are encouraged to connect academic learning with workplace learning and develop a full range of professional attributes and skills
- assessments: critical questions concerning their forms or types of skills they address
- interpersonal connections between people from different disciplines, cultures and backgrounds
Carnell, B., 2017. Towards a connected curriculum in architectural education: research-based education in practice. In Charrette 4(1) Spring 2017, pp. 14-26
Image available here
- there are other cognitive, affective and corporeal dimensions to learning that take place both within the studio and in other settings/ he produced notions of reflective practice at a time when there was a significant paradigm shift from “behavioral” and “cognitive” psychology to “humanist” and “situated” theories of learning.
- students experience arch education as the sum of its explicit and hidden dimensions and it is this total experience that effects the development of students from novices to professional architects/ Schön confines his notion of student learning to formal pedagogic encounters
- in his long explication of students’ encounters with design tutors suggests that the role of the design tutor is to ‘correct’ students’ designs, he fails to acknowledge that arch is a dynamic and contested field or the ramifications that this might have on the design tutorial interaction
- Schön’s description of teaching is arguably akin to a teacher-centered model; described by the learning and teaching literature as a ‘transmission’ model of teaching/ Schön fails to recognise that Quist, as a representative of a particular institutional habitus, uses his power to direct Petra’s learning towards alignment with his normative habitus
- the plausibility of temporal aspects of Schön’s concepts are also questionable: at what point does action become reflection-in-action and at what point does reflection-in-action stop and reflection-on-action start?
Today’s truths are constructed by cultural groups, Webster argues. There are struggles of power between the groups about the dominance of their particular truths. Architectural professional knowledge is constructed and contested both within and between groups. In this context presenting arch knowledge as unproblematic is odd.
Webster, H., 2008. Architectural Education after Schön: Cracks, Blurs, Boundaries and Beyond. In Journal for Education in the Built Environment, Vol. 3, Issue 2, December 2008 pp. 63-74 (12)
Image available here
Three experiments on what became known as ‘design correspondence‘
01:1 991, The Samarkand competition gave an excuse for collaboration between two designers who lived far apart. The exchange involved correspondence via modem and included updated revisions of the project on a daily basis. Soon, they accumulated a large database that was hard to manage.
02: a joint workshop that lasted two weeks between 12 students of architecture who worked in a computerized design studio in Macintosh and UNIX environments connected by an Ethernet local are network. they were given joint areas later called “digital pin up boards” where they could edit and post notions about the common project. again there were difficulties in naming files, managing the resources etc.
03: 25 participants by two institutions far apart, Harvard University and the University of British Columbia. they utilized WAN. students were given the same problem, to design a pre-fabricated warehouse utilizing the technology of concrete tilt-up panels. the exercise lasted two weeks, week one participants downloaded reference material and developed designs for their elementary panel, week two they developed design models for the building. tutors acted as editors. final crit was realized via phone with speakers. review material was exchanged between universities so thatrecords were identical. the list of proposals was displayed on computer screens in both institutions simultaneously. this was the world’s first electronic jury.
Jerzy Wojtowicz, James N. Davidson and Takehiko Nagakura, 1995, Digital Pinup Board-The Story of the Virtual Village Project. In Virtual Design Studio (ed. Jerzy Wojtowicz), Hong Kong University Press, pp. 09-23
Image available here
I am very pleased to see our article ‘Pedagogical approaches to embodied topography: a workshop that unravels the hidden and imaginary landscapes of Elaionas,‘ get published in ZARCH Journal and I am also very happy to share this with you. It is based on a collaborative project that began in 2015 with Prof. Nelly Marda and Christos Kakalis from the University of Newcastle along with the students of our postgraduate course in NTUA.
The article highlights the importance of mapping in urban design and uses the concept of embodied topography to describe how activating the human body through a series of sensory motor tasks can help individuals immerse themselves in the landscape to acquire a better understanding of the urban phenomena. This process is presented here as a tool of mapping and managing the complexity of the urban landscape as it enables the individuals to recover the more hidden or even imaginary aspects of the city and their own relation to it.
As this is an ongoing research I hope that there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss what we are doing with more people involved in this kind of research in urban design. So, feel free to comment and write back your own experiences on the matter.
ZARCH: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, Num. 8, image available here