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Deconstructing Constructive Alignment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish Higher Education has formally no central curriculum (Lindberg -Sand 2004) . The education is regulated by the Higher Education Act and The Higher Education Ordinance . In the international area of ​​educational development however, a few theoretical concepts are considered and treated as a kind of normative structure for how educational processes should be understood. Some of these central concepts are constructive alignment (Biggs 2011), the epistemological taxonomies of Bloom ( Bloom 1956 ; Krahtwohl - Bloom - Masia , eds. , 1965; Anderson - Krahtwohl - Bloom, eds. 2001) and the distinction between surface and deep learning ( Marton - Dahlgren Säljö 2005). In Academic Teacher Training courses these concepts are often used as a kind of theoretical structure to present what university teaching is all about, what it aims at and what is relevant perspectives and knowledge. Some of these concepts have even served as tools for the Swedish authorities' transformation of higher education through the Bologna process and the starting point for the University Chancellor Office when it comes to quality assurances ( www.ond.vlaanderen.be / hogerunderwijs / bologna , http://www.uk-ambetet.se/utbildningskvalitet ) . They can thus be described as key elements in the University curriculum code , if code could be understood as the principle around how education should be understood , organized and evaluated ( cf. Lundgren 1989). The professional category of Swedish educational developers have taken on the role as change agents in HE. They have used these concepts as theoretical foundations , models and tools for change. These concepts have strongly influenced how university teachers today looks at the phenomena of teaching, learning and education. The concepts are also fairly unquestioned within the educational development field . They can be described as dominant concepts, even hegemonic , because their alternatives are absent and invisible, even internationally. The purpose of this session is to stimulate discussion among educational developers and academics on one of the fundamental and dominant theoretical concepts in Higher Education, namely constructive alignment. The idea is to stimulate critical reflection on the risks associated with using only a few theoretical concepts in higher education. They perhaps force us to consider HE from limited perspectices? An apparent consensus on the basic concepts are hindering creative educational development , if we do not only want to harmonize and standardize education. Together we will discuss some of the basic assumptions behind constructive alignment and problematize its hegemonic status and try to identify any interests which might underlie its impact. I will also suggest some alternatives , if one wants to make the more exploratory, situation-specific and exploratory nature of pedagogy visible. My point is that all concepts are intellectual tools that help us to see and do things. A truly scientific approach to educational development and university teaching should be characterized by critical debate about its fundamental concepts. In this session we will discuss alternatives to the approach connected to constructive alignment and map some questions that could be raised from this discussion and adressed globally.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
constructive alignment, deconstruction, Biggs, Derrida, criticism
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226721OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-226721DiVA: diva2:727087
Conference
ICED 2014 (International Consortium of Educational Development) Educational Development in a Changing World 16-18 juni 2014.
Note

Rundabordssamtal om behovet av dekonstruktion av begreppet "konstruktiv länkning" inom pedagogisk utveckling och högskolepedagogik samt om synliggörande av alternativa teoretiska begrepp.

Available from: 2014-06-19 Created: 2014-06-19 Last updated: 2014-06-19

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Wickström, Johan

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