Innovative teaching and student centred learning: A case study of three faculties at QUT

Year: 2001

Author: Carpenter, Belinda, Meadmore, Daphne, Tait, Gordon

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This case study of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) found that good teaching has two central features is necessarily student centred, and it is 'innovative', a characteristic that, at QUT at least, is increasingly equated with the use of technology. This paper based upon interviews with twenty-four QUT academics across three faculties (Education, Science, and Law), will suggest four things. First, that the concept of student centred learni based on ideals of progressive education, is neither an historical inevitability nor theoretically unproblematic. Second, that irrespective of discipline, all lecturers espouse an underpinning 'progressive' teaching philosophy, e though, in practice, teaching style appears to be determined primarily by subject-matter. Third, given that, in practice, the progressive model seems to suit some faculties and subject areas better than others (ie. Education, as opposed to Science and Law) this has significant professional implications for the lecturers concerned. Finally, t rather than promoting a 'progressive' pedagogy, the use of technology in teaching actually appears to reinforce traditional teaching techniques. Consequently, it is suggested that monolithic understandings of good teaching, when applied across the academy irrespective of context, are often inappropriate, ineffective and inequities, and that universities need to think through their teaching policies and programmes more thoroughly.