From knowledge acquisition to knowledge production: Issues with Australian honours curricula

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Teaching in Higher Education, 2012, 17 (2), pp. 139 - 151
Issue Date:
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Although there have been increasing attempts to involve undergraduate students in conducting research, a pivotal moment when students engage in knowledge production is during honours programmes. Honours programmes, particularly those in Australia, seek to develop students' capacity to engage in higher order thinking that may lead to knowledge production. This transition is facilitated through advanced disciplinary knowledge, research training and a research project. However, there is a pedagogical tension between requiring students to engage in this deeper level of inquiry at the same time as they complete a heavy knowledge acquisition load. This paper explores how a number of disciplines in Australia balance these elements of the honours curricula. It argues that the combination of these curriculum goals can make it difficult for students to apply the knowledge they have gained in advanced disciplinary and research training courses to their research project work. This has serious implications for honours programmes. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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