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Higher education pedagogy courses as trading zones

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 11:30am – 12:00pm parallel session



Room 5 – 301-G050 Lg Chem



Dr Linda Bradley
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr Anne Algers
University of Gothenburg, Sweden



Since teachers of higher education belong to different disciplines and thus discourses, they have different ways of knowing and teaching. Recent development in society such as the importance of digital literacy and open sharing of knowledge calls for re-visiting educational practices among disciplines in higher education.

At University of Gothenburg, the Unit for Pedagogical Development and Interactive Learning hosts three six-month-courses in learning and teaching in higher education. The majority of the teachers who attend the courses engage in cross-disciplinary discussions about teaching and learning in higher education for the first time. In the courses, the teachers have the potential to learn from each other by sharing their experiences and developing their teaching practice. The purpose is to investigate how these “trading zones” can open up for critical thinking and new views on knowledge and teaching among the teachers. Further, our research also explores how teachers address digital literacy and openness (open interactions and sharing of knowledge, with peers as well as students).

The study is based on 1) a systematic literature review on signature pedagogy in higher education, 2) survey data from teachers at University of Gothenburg from our eight different faculties and 3) complementary interviews with teachers from each faculty. The voluntary interviews are recorded, transcribed and translated from Swedish. We applied a mixed-method approach for data analysis.

The results are based on 58 articles and also surveys from 155 higher education teachers (response rate of 33%), together with two interviews per faculty. Outcomes show that ways of teaching are pervasive among disciplines, whereas ways of knowing are connected to values, disciplinary identities and epistemological approaches. In our presentation we will discuss how enhanced digital literacy and increased open sharing can inform how professional development in pedagogies of academic staff can be dealt with in higher education.



Liyoshi, T. & Kumar, M. S. V. (2008). Opening up education. The collective advancement of education through open technology, open content, and open knowledge. The MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA.
Meyer, J. H., & Land, R. (2005). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2): Epistemological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning. Higher education, 49(3), 373-388.
Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134(3), 52-59.


Presentation topic

Academic – Changing Academic Practice

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