Education International
Education International

Teachers and students together improve teaching in higher education

published 8 June 2010 updated 22 March 2011

Results from the ‘Time for student-centred learning’ study show that teachers are committed to improving their ways of teaching and are ready to listen to students’ opinions on pedagogical practices.

The responses to questionnaires sent to teachers and students’ unions across Europe, as part of European Commission-funded project, show that educators are supportive of policies to improve their teaching methods so they can better cater to students needs.

Teachers are also ready to evaluate and improve their practices in partnership with students in the academic community. However, the study found teachers are sceptical of efforts to involve employers, who they believe promote a consumerist model of education, based on a narrow view of quality education.

Traditionally, teaching and research constitute the two dimensions of academic work. According to the study, students now perceive an academic’s career as mostly built on research, while teaching takes a back seat. Students have suggested making teaching a more important part of the career of academics.

Teachers, for their part, prefer to have less to do with the larger burden of administrative work, so that they can teach more. They would also like to teach smaller classes where they feel they can better motivate students.

The study reiterates the goals of the Bologna Process which are to improve the quality of education, and highlight the concept of the ‘academic community’ involving both teachers and students.

These findings should be a catalyst for higher education institutions and governments to put in place measures to support pedagogical development, in a framework that recognises academic freedoms and professionalism.

For more information on the project, please visit: www.t4scl.eu.