Browsing by Subject "alignment in teaching"

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  • Hyytinen, Heidi (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    The aim of this study is to explore by systematic textual analysis the crucial conceptions of constructive alignment and to reconstruct the concept of constructive alignment and examine the relation between conceptual relationships in John Biggs's texts. In this study, I have also analyzed the presuppositions of the concept of constructive alignment and its possible implications. The research material includes Biggs's (1996b; 2003) article entitled Enhancing Teaching through Constructive Alignment and book entitled Teaching for Quality Learning at University. The primary purpose of the systematic textual analysis is to reconstruct concepts and gain access to a new or more profound understanding of the concepts. The main purpose of the constructive alignment is to design a teaching system that supports and encourages students to adopt a deep approach learning. At the center of the constructive alignment are two concepts: constructivism in learning and alignment in teaching. A tension was detected between these concepts. Biggs assumes that students' learning activities are primed by the teaching. Because of this it is not important what the teacher does. At the same time he emphasizes that teaching interacts with learning. The teacher's task is to support student's appropriate learning activities. On the basis of the analysis, I conclude these conceptions are not mutually exclusive. Interaction between teaching and learning has an effect on student's learning activities. The most essential benefit of the model of constructive alignment is that Biggs brings together and considers teaching at the same level with learning. A weakness of Biggs's model relates to the theoretical basis and positions of the concept of constructive alignment. There are some conflicts between conceptions of epistemology in Biggs's texts. In addition, Biggs writes about constructivism also as conceptions of epistemology, but doesn't consider implications of that position or what follows or doesn't follow from that commitment. On the basis of the analysis, I suggest that constructivism refers in Biggs's texts rather to constructivism in learning than philosophical constructivism. In light of this study, constructive alignment doesn't lead to philosophical constructivism. That's why constructive alignment stays out of idealism. Biggs's way of thinking about teachers possibility to confronting students' misconceptions and evaluate and assess students' constructions support a realist purpose in terms of philosophical stance. Realism does not drift toward general problems of relativism, like lack of criteria for assessing or evaluate these constructions.