Apologia pro Doctrina mea:
Reflections on my Teaching Practice

 This is a minimally-edited version of part of my—happily successful—application for a Teacher Fellowship award at De Montfort University in 1999, which in turn led on to my National Teaching Fellowship in 2004. It is included here for the sake of those diligent readers who quite rightly want to know where I am “coming from”.

Launching a residential symposium July 2004

I have never trained as a teacher. In fact, it could be argued that I have built a career on false pretences: I spent twenty years teaching social work, without ever having practised as a social worker, and I now presume to train others to teach, without ever having been assessed personally on my teaching competence!(1) This con-trick has endowed me with a basic sense of insecurity about my practice, which has forced continual self-examination, and probably done more for my professional development than anything else. It is a dangerous precedent to set, but I have become a teacher through constant evaluation and re-thinking of practice, rather than any attempt to apply given principles. I have, it is true, picked up a Master’s in Education and a Ph.D in the area along the way, but none of these have involved scrutiny of my practice. Yet I presume to do it to other people!

When I supposedly retired, I had two main feelings: the first that I had finally run the course without being rumbled as a fraud and a charlatan, and the second that if I had just one more chance to teach my courses I could really get it right.

(1) This is a slight exaggeration. I have been formally observed for the Teacher Fellowship award and as part of routine appraisal, and by the QAA and Ofsted, but the default assumption in each case was that I was at least competent, and possibly even proficient or expert

Instead, my initial apprenticeship after graduation was in psychoanalytically oriented group relations, and a systems approach to organisations. This provided me with an underlying discipline which directed my attention to emotional as well as cognitive aspects of the learners’ experience; but this perspective is the one thing which I have most conspicuously failed to teach directly to my students. That failure has been a constant puzzle to me, and I hope to sort it out before I retire. The truth may be something to do with the fact that I picked up my understanding of group processes through what is now known as “legitimate peripheral participation”, rather than formal training (Lave and Wenger. 1993).

So the continuing effect of this apprenticeship has been to make me aware of the total impact of the course or programme experience on the students. I have always been concerned with trying to harness every aspect of programme organisation to convey the “right” messages to participants, and even to manage the “hidden curriculum” (having first tried to work out what it is, in particular cases). This has meant a concern with the working of the staff team, a preoccupation with the quality of the documentation, and a flexibility about the selection of curriculum models. Throughout the ’80s, I was a member of an organisation devoted to harnessing every aspect of life in psychiatric hospitals and other care settings to a therapeutic purpose; I was similarly trying (mutatis mutandi) to harness every aspect of our social work courses to enhance the educational experience of students. This also accounts for my career pattern: I first became a programme leader 26 years ago, and a Principal Lecturer almost 20 years ago. I have not sought to advance in the hierarchy, because (as I realise writing this) it would have taken me beyond the point at which I could have detailed influence on the student experience.

If that is my heritage in terms of theory, my practical apprenticeship was undertaken in Further Education. More specifically, I started as an Assistant Lecturer (Grade A) in Liberal Studies. “Liberal Studies” was a brave if naive experiment of the late ’60s and ’70s to ensure that people undertaking vocational courses in FE were not merely “trained” but also liberally educated, by teaching them—in effect—anything they did not want to know about. Thus I taught moral philosophy to draughtsmen (with more than usual success), psychology to plumbers, and comparative religion to lab. technicians. It was an initiation by ordeal, and accounts both for whatever skill I have as a teacher, and also for one of my major failings. In those days, if I happened upon a topic which hooked the attention and interest of the students, I did not let go of it. I would milk it for all it was worth: and I confess that I still do. My (our—for I cannot absolve my students from all responsibility) digressions are still capable of playing havoc with session objectives. The positive side of all this is the capacity I developed to get to my objective via a number of different routes, and to pick up later in the sequence issues passed over in the interests of a dialogue with students.

The Subject

I have principally taught on professional, rather than academic courses. This makes a considerable difference to the way in which the subject-matter is conceived and hence taught. Pedagogy (or even andragogy) is not simply a matter of technique, but exists in an intimate relationship with the epistemological status of the knowledge—academic or practical—which is being taught. 

In planning for a programme, module or individual session, a major question is: “what is this being taught for?” In other words, “how is this to be used?” 
 

“Today I stood in for S. to do a teaching observation of M... She works part-time at a College of Further Education, and she was teaching a group of nursery nurses coming to the end of their two-year non-graduate course, and she was, as she said, tidying up loose ends. Their syllabus required them to have studied team-working [... ]

At a technical level, M. is a good teacher: she tried to draw information and ideas out of the students …, but, since they had little experience to draw on, she could not get the “right” answers from them. […] At last, M. put up on the whiteboard the three essential components of good team-working ... I thought at first, that was interesting. Then I put myself in the position of the students, who were dutifully making notes, and thought, they have to remember these points for their exam: there is a lot more to studying in this area than I thought. Perhaps I ought to make a note of these points for my own future reference?

Then I “woke up”. I started my working life in management and organisational development: I have been involved in team-working for the past twenty years, working in teams myself, and conducting training and consultancy on it. There was nothing “wrong” with the three points on the board, but I had never conceptualised the issue to myself in that way, and I saw no particular advantage in doing so. They did not even represent a particular school of theory, which could be contrasted with other perspectives. They seemed to represent the outcome of the text-book author’s search for three simple headings under which to organise his required thousand words on team-working. But for these students, this was now the definitive knowledge on the subject, to which their experience had to be subordinated ... As M. said afterwards, it was what they were expected to “know”...

from my journal

I keep using this excerpt: it must epitomise an important issue for me. The experience has certainly been repeated many times, if less vividly.

It is a feature of basic level programmes to suggest that knowledge about a subject is "given" and incontestable, rather than work in progress which is the subject of debate (which I am coming to recognise as a defining characteristic of university education—and of course of research). However, this is an aspect of what I am coming to call "teachification" —a clumsy word which represents the process of transformation through which knowledge goes in order to make it teachable. The process was identified long ago by Becker (1968):

We set up a school to teach arithmetic or reading, barbering or beauty culture, when we think the subject matter too complex and difficult to be learned in haphazard ordinary life. The student, we say, must master certain ‘basic’ conceptions before he can understand the more complicated structures erected on that base ...

The complexity may lie in the subject matter itself. We think it foolish for a person who cannot read to start by attempting written material of the variety and difficulty one might run into in the ordinary world..

The complexity may lie in the social situation the student will later use his knowledge in rather than in the material itself. Techniques of barbering may not be complicated, but we believe a student may have difficulty learning them if he must simultaneously take into account the possible reactions of customers whose hair he has butchered in a beginner-like way ...

Schools ... process students in batches, treating them as if each were the prototypical normal student for whom they constructed the curriculum.

Becker (1968), reprinted in Burgess (1995)

The material becomes reified, and taught to be learned in its own right, rather than as a set of tools or frameworks which can be used to develop practice. This is something I have tried to resist, and rather than teaching what, in professional practice, may simply be rather arbitrary received wisdom, I try to use student experience to get at the assumptions and principles which they really use in practice. I then try to avoid “trumping” that—devaluing it—by immediately referring to what the books say.

This is not to claim that students are always right: but at least I "know where they are coming from" if they need to be challenged—and [...] challenging experienced practitioners has been my stock-in-trade.

There are at least two major components to professional practice, which vary in their relative importance depending on the area of practice (Eraut, 1994). The first is the material which can be learned and directly applied, which is broadly that which relates to working within predictable frameworks (largely artificial systems). Examples would be knowledge of material strengths for an engineer, programming for a software systems developer, statute and common law knowledge for a lawyer. This tends to be readily teachable material (although there is always the danger of the students lapsing into surface learning strategies in order to get through the course, rather than internalising the material [Prosser and Trigwell 1999]).

The other component is that which underpins skill, and the development of expertise. It is the ability to work with uncertainty (which is a major criterion in determining the higher levels of NVQs), and to make use of sedimented knowledge (Schutz, 1966) to inform interpretation and judgement in practice. “Reflective practice” (Schön, 1983) is an aspect of this. It is that kind of practice which may be solvable algorithmically, but where the algorithm is not yet known. The lawyer’s client-negotiating skills and risk assessment, the advertising executive’s view of how this will play in Schenectady, and the teacher’s empathy with the student experience: all fall into this category.

And you cannot teach these directly: or at least I can't. There are many ways to grope towards them: simulations, experiential exercises, case-studies, mentoring, but the teacher’s strategy has to be indirect. Indeed, this argument is self-referential: the ability to help students to acquire knowledge and skills in this area is in itself an example of it.

Leaving aside the skill-development aspect of this for the moment – in my view an essential component of this form of knowledge is familiarity with a set of conceptual tools for the analysis of situations, and the cultivation of an appropriate frame of reference. But in the final analysis it matters less that the potential practitioner knows that this idea came from Belbin, Berne or Bion, than that she incorporates it into her repertoire of cognitive skills.

On the other hand, that is a rationale for training, not for education. The educated practitioner needs to know how to choose such frameworks, needs to be able to examine their underlying assumptions, and to adapt them. It is in this process that the added academic value comes of, for example, Master’s level study.

It is teaching in this area which has been my main concern and preoccupation, both in social work education and in teacher education.

This has a number of consequences. First, this approach is difficult to implement with students who do not have any direct experience of the practice being analysed. They need to be able to contribute their own experiences both to illustrate and to test the ideas being suggested. Hence I have been particularly interested in in-service programmes.

Second, following from the first, it is experience-led. The scheduling of the taught material from the perspective of the teacher’s intentions (Thomas and Harri-Augstein, 1985) is subordinated to responding to students’ current concerns. In practice, this means that although I have session objectives, I am rather disappointed if I meet them! To meet them usually means that the dialogue that both the students and I aspire to has probably not emerged.

Lest this be interpreted as yet another manifestation of my unstructured woolly-mindedness, I should explain something of my usual (but not invariable) procedure. Each module has Outcomes, which have to be addressed in the summative assessment (of which more later). It so happens that in my subject area, there is very little material which constrains a serial structure, i.e. in which there is a clear set of pre-requisites for a given topic: this confers considerable freedom on the teacher and the groups to take material in almost any order. It is made clear in the (PGCE/Cert. Ed. (Post-Compulsory Education) handbook that:

An important working principle in the delivery of the Programme is that taught sessions will be used for those activities for which they are most appropriate. This means:
    • That they will not generally be used to pass on information which can be gained as readily from personal reading, etc. They will however provide you with guidance on that reading, and may be used for discussion and exchange of information about it (including such activities as book review circles).
    • They will make full use of the fact that the students are gathered together in a group, and promote learning from each other as much as possible.
    • They do not pretend to cover all the Indicative Content of any module.

So the taught sessions will use a variety of teaching approaches, including seminar sessions, small-group work, action-learning sets, practical and theoretical exercises, role-play and student presentations — and even the occasional formal lecture. You will be expected to undertake specific work between sessions in order to benefit from subsequent sessions. The details of each teaching sequence will be negotiated with the student group at the start, using a base-lining exercise to work out how the group’s time together can most profitably be used.

PGCE/Cert. Ed Handbook 98- to date

In the first session, we go through the Outcomes, and possibly undertake a base-lining exercise in which the students rate themselves against each of them, to identify which require the most explicit attention in the taught sessions. (This is not always accurate: in some areas, such as Equal Opportunities on the Context of Learning and Teaching module, students do not even know what they do not know; so it has to be interpreted through discussion). I then present a "menu" of potential topics, and we negotiate the programme of taught topics in accordance with the available teaching slots. This has the added advantage of making clear what is not going to be addressed in the taught sessions, and what they have to work on outside.

Within this framework, however, there is the possibility that the intended session objectives will not be met: it is therefore important that we (all of us, students as well as myself) make efforts to ensure that all the negotiated selected topics are addressed over the course of the semester as a whole, and a "stock-taking" session is built in to the programme about two-thirds of the way through the module for this reason. We can then “mop up” the remainder in the rest of the semester.

There is a delicate balance to be struck between planning and opportunism in this approach!

It is because of this pragmatic justification for the knowledge base of professional programmes that I favour the Outcomes approach.

If the status of the knowledge imparted in teaching professional studies is (broadly) pragmatic, this is not the case in more academic areas. This came home to me when I inherited a BA third-year sociology module from a colleague. I was a fairly logical choice to take it on: I am a lapsed sociologist, and I had for many years overlapped with A. in teaching similar material (on mental health) on courses for social workers. I therefore “knew the stuff” back to front.

The first run of the module was fairly disastrous, as my journal records. At a social level, I was accustomed to argumentative social workers, familiar with clients with mental health problems, if not with the background material, and often with committed ideological positions. I made use of my experience and interviews with them in my PhD research (Atherton, 1991: and Atherton, 1999). The undergraduates just sat there, and even made notes of my jokes. I wrote in my journal that, “I feel that I am pouring material into a bottomless pit”. Few of them even came to the associated seminars. I had polished the material. I had almost 150 OHTs (not that I used them all!). I had made sure the cited research was up-to-date. I had clear session plans. I had spent some of the first session clarifying their interests and their previous personal or academic acquaintance with the material. I spent hours walking our dogs and thinking of new ways to get them to engage with the material: exercises honed by years of use in short courses just did not work. I found myself colluding with the students’ silence and providing answers for the questions I posed. I had issued a comprehensive module guide with recommended reading for each session (which few of them had done), and notes on my marking criteria for the assignments: but I got my own notes regurgitated back at me. The assignments clearly tried to “suss out” my own positions on various debates, and to reinforce my prejudices: the evaluation questionnaires were generally positive (which was even more discouraging), and it was gently suggested that my marking was too harsh.

I cannot claim that I have overcome all these problems, but for present purposes I have to record that my underlying problem (working to a module template defined by someone else) was of knowing why I was teaching this material. The students were not going to use it. Their motivations for selecting it were varied; some of them appeared to be “deviance junkies”, some wanted to understand the problems of family members, others found it the least unattractive of a range of options, or even an escape from the small sociology team on the campus. But the material had the status of a currency in an academic game: they stored (learned) it, and then used it to bet with on the assignments. I doubt that any of them could recall a word of it two years on.

I thought it was important: conceptions of madness relate closely to assumptions about what it means to be human, about when the collective can violate the rights of the individual, and so on. I could even see the point of regarding the material as simply illustrative, as grist to the mill of developing the skills of a critical, sociological sensitivity and awareness: but they were in their final year, and that should have been achieved long before. In any case, such a perspective was merely an attempt to “professionalise” the material, to see it as incidental to the task of training sociologists.

I do not want simply to test their knowledge: this year I have got them to negotiate their own assignment titles, and to discuss drafts in the seminars, and that seems to have helped them to engage with the topics in more depth. I have encouraged some of them to work together, on similar titles — with a little success — although they find the approach alien. It is not,  of course, what the subject means to me that matters, but what it means to them.

Learners

I recall from twenty years ago the first occasion on which a colleague undertook the very first session of a full-time and intensive programme. He was not prepared, and the handbooks and timetables had been delayed in reprographics. He floundered. The students picked it up, and despite our best efforts, they never really trusted the tutorial team. They were conservative and inhibited for the rest of the year, and their learning suffered. Something similar happened on the first run of the MALT, with the same effect.

I cite this because it illustrates for me a fundamental feature of educational programmes conceived as wholes, and one which receives very little attention in the literature. (One reviewer of a current book proposal of mine clearly hadn’t a clue what I was writing about.)

From first principles (and for the sake of brevity, by assertion!):

How these messages are received and interpreted by learners is very variable, and often not under the control of the teachers. Nevertheless, if we do not make a conscious effort to communicate the “right” messages, there is little chance that they will get through by accident. This is one of the reasons why I place so much emphasis on full information for students, and make it available in various ways.

The best documented examples concern the impact of assessment schemes in promoting “deep” or “surface” learning. As the earlier discussion of the module on the sociology of mental health suggests, if students do not see a connection between not only the topic but also the manner of assessment, and their motivation for learning, it becomes a sterile exercise, a game to be played with the institution.

In the case of the PGCE/Cert. Ed., its focus on education as its subject as well as its form makes it relatively simple to apply the principle of ensuring that all aspects of the programme carry a consistent message. The Handbook is explicit about the Programme values:

  1. That you, the students on this Programme, are competent adults, already acquainted with the field of work and study, and having more or less clear ideas about what you need to learn to improve your knowledge and practice.
  2. That those ideas will vary according to the nature of your experience, but need to be respected, even when it is necessary to show their limitations and to go beyond them.
  3. That you will learn most effectively when you are both involved in and have appropriate control over your learning experiences.
  4. That the accumulated experience of members of the student group is one of the most valuable resources available to the programme, and every effort should be made to utilise it.
  5. That in view of the change and uncertainty which characterises this area of practice, the ability and motivation to learn from continuing experience through disciplined reflection is a defining characteristic of a professional, and should be fostered by the programme.
  6. That the experience of being a learner in a formal educational setting is an important resource in itself, enabling you to appreciate anew the experience of your own students and their corresponding opportunities and difficulties.
  7. That a programme which purports to teach good educational practice must itself embody and model such practice, and lay it open to scrutiny.
  8. That this includes attention to equal opportunities and the active mitigation of disadvantage experienced by minority groups.
  9. ...And a commitment to the highest standards of scholarship in respect of the disciplines contributing to the programme.

PGCE/Cert. Ed Programme Handbook 1998-99

— and then endeavours to express them in concrete form. For example, a consequence of Value 1 is that the Programme is broadly andragogic in nature. It also assumes that students are capable of pacing their own study: there is no formal attendance requirement, and no requirement to request deferment of assessments — submissions are simply considered at the next assessment board after they are handed in.

Value 4 is expressed in the incorporation of student presentations and collaborative working in all modules: indeed, every module has an Outcome about “working together”. An effect of this is to encourage attendance, but it is seen as important that the logic for this comes from the need to work together, rather than an imposition by the staff.

This is not to say that we have got it right: we are currently reviewing the programme — and I am attempting to write up the process for publication — because a value which may be missing is that of providing security for the learner, in terms of clear requirements. Desirable although these principles may be from first principles, they create some problems for students who are familiar with other approaches. Atkin (1998) encapsulates this issue in his paper entitled "Just tell me what to do!", with reference to this Programme, [...].

So we are grappling with the problem of whether we can best deal with students as they “ought” to be, or as they are. However, the debates which are provoked by the Programme are in themselves instructive and relevant to the subject matter, so perhaps we should not abandon them simply in the interests of administrative convenience.

All of this represents an extension of what is generally known as the “constructivist” position in educational theory. Constructivism emphasises the active role of the learner as a “maker of meanings”: it has been implicit in my earlier discussion of the Subject element of this system, but this discussion goes beyond the classroom (or distance-learning) encounter. I have come to the conclusion that a major determinant of the outcomes of teaching is what the learning represents to the learner, and that this image or representation is a function of the whole experience of the student, including:

Whether we like it or not, this is what we have to work with. Rogers (1980) writes about students being “free to learn”: it is that which I seek to ensure.

Teacher

In the light, then, of the above, what is my job? Space is running short, so I shall confine myself to two issues, which together lead to a continuing dilemma.

There is however a preliminary consideration. I have, by the very nature of this piece, written about myself and my reflections. This is far from a realistic reflection of how my teaching and programme planning works. The PGCE/Cert. Ed. (Post-Compulsory Education) is not my individual creation: it is the product of the work of a team from two university centres and an associate college. Like making a film, making a course is by definition a corporate enterprise. The auteur model is flawed. I may not be speaking for my colleagues, but without them none of what I have achieved (if it is worth anything) would have been possible.

The first of the other issues is my belief that teacher commitment and enthusiasm are extremely influential on what the learning environment represents to the student. Consistent figures whom they know and to whom they can relate are important to part-time mature students in particular. Professional courses, I believe, cannot run on the basis of subject experts swanning in to take individual modules or even parts of them, and then disappearing. Personal tutoring is important, and needs to be seen as intimately linked with subject teaching.

I have always been very fortunate in working with relatively small and close-knit teams, in both social work and teacher education. We have not used external subject experts for specialist modules, such as bringing in lawyers to teach legal aspects of social work: continuity and consistency has been seen as more important. A diffuse programme obliges the students to make all the connections themselves, with the support only of their peers, and the likelihood is that they will experience the programme as fragmented, disjointed and isolated from their other experience. Learning which they can “own” and internalise comes from a continuing dialogue — not with one teacher, but with a team which embodies complementary and occasionally contesting views, held in constructive tension by mutual respect.

I have to admit that modularity, the mentoring scheme, and programme rationalisation may all undermine this process: so we have to work harder to make and sustain an integrating dialogue.

I have so far not mentioned the second issue at all, which is resource-based learning (RBL).

RBL may well represent the future. E-mail has revolutionised my professional life, and the potential of current and imminent technology is enormous. I first designed and edited distance-learning packs in my social work teaching days. I have experimented with the use of Help files and web-sites to support learning on both professional and academic modules: I am particularly interested in the potential of hypertext to enable learners to navigate materials in a manner which fits with their learning styles. I have greatly enjoyed, and learned a great deal from, the MALT RBL module, particularly as my first experience of electronic conferencing as an integral part of an RBL module. I am a moderately active member of several e-mail lists on the development of new technologies in teaching and learning. I am keen on examining ways of embedding RBL into programmes which overcome some of its dangers.

But here is the rub. Having emphasised dialogue, personal acquaintance with students, continuity, and the like: having talked about the totality of the student experience — how do we deal with that through RBL?

My present thinking is that we (both teachers and students) need a shift in perspective. Hitherto, the assumption has tended to be that lectures carry the major load of imparting information and ideas to the students. We make gestures in the direction of expecting reading and the completion of example sheets between sessions, but there is a weary acceptance that the only thing we can guarantee that students will have been exposed to is what we have told them. Hence the protestations about the erosion of teaching hours for modules. Hence, too, information overload in lectures themselves.

For financial, administrative, and perhaps above all for educational reasons, this cannot go on. With the arrival of new technologies, perhaps there is less reason for it to do so. The burden of transmitting knowledge can, and has to be, transferred to other media. The former lecture should then be freed for dialogue, for formative assessment, and for explorations of variations on the theme.

This is not going to be an easy transition. Although new undergraduates have been exposed to some student-centred learning on their “A” level or GNVQ programmes, they have not been trusted to work on their own. Surface learning persists among many students because it works: it has got them where they are, and they are capable of manipulating lecturers — anxious about, and accountable for, “success” rates — to regress into the old information-giving mode. I know — they have done it to me! The likelihood is that there will be a trough, during which all performance indicators will drop, until the new approach becomes established.

For lecturers, the challenge is not only one of commitment to see change through such a trough, but of skill to envisage modules as integrated sets of learning opportunities, with face-to-face and resource-based components working together and reinforcing each other. Unfortunately, preparing resource-based materials takes time — large amounts of time. Appendix 2 to Dearing, to which this university contributed, estimates between 30 and 100 hours’ preparation time for an hour of RBL, whereas lecture preparation is estimated at 3 hours.

The temptation is going to be to “buy in” standard packages. Just as few of us write our text-books, few are likely to prepare our own RBL packages. That would be unfortunate, because however inadequate the lecture, it does “fit” with the person delivering it — whereas the definitive versions from famous academics supported by global software and publishing corporations will have no such personal touch, nor be tuned to the needs of learners. Instead, I am convinced that we must encourage “bottom-up” development of these resources. Like my attempts at web pages, they will not be glossy and full of multimedia bells and whistles, but they will speak to a known audience with the voice of a known teacher.

An even greater challenge, perhaps, will be that a lecturer — now more properly a “teacher” — working on this basis is more exposed. There is no more hiding behind the venerable, dog-eared notes of yesteryear. There is no more gabbling up to the bell, leaving no time for questions. There is no more treating the students as functionally interchangeable. Even with large groups, there will be a need to add value through attendance at sessions, and that irreplaceable value is to be found in dialogue with the students.

Having pontificated about all this, I am not very good at it! Some students find me inaccessible: some find me incomprehensible. If I can make any claim — which I am increasingly coming to doubt — to “expertise” or “excellence”, it can only rest on the fact that I am aware of these problems, and I am working on them.

References

ATKIN C (1998) “Just tell me what to do” unpublished paper delivered at “After Dearing” conference, Swansea, June 1998

BECKER H (1968) “A School is a Lousy Place to Learn Anything in” reprinted in R G Burgess (ed) Howard Becker on Education Buckingham: Open University Press. 1995

BECKER H S GEER B and HUGHES E C (1968) Making the Grade: the academic side of college life  New York: Wiley

BIGGS J (1993) “What do inventories of students’ learning process really measure? A theoretical review and clarification” Brit. J. Ed. Psych. vol 83 pp 3-19 :

ERAUT M (1994) Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence London: Falmer Press

LAVE J and WENGER E (1991) Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

MEZIROW J and Associates (1990) Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

PROSSER M and TRIGWELL K (1999) Understanding Learning and Teaching: the experience in higher education Buckingham: SRHE/OU Press

ROGERS C R (1980) Freedom to learn for the 80s New York: Free Press

SCHÖN D A (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action London: Temple Smith

SCHUTZ A (1962-66) Collected Papers, vols I - III The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff

SNYDER B R (1971) The Hidden Curriculum New York: Alfred A Knopf

THOMAS L and HARRI-AUGSTEIN S (1985) Self-Organised Learning: foundations of a conversational science for psychology London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 

For some recent collaborative papers in downloadable format click here

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