Book by: Dart, B. and Boulton-Lewis, G.
Review by: Cynthia Demetriou
Coordinator of Academic Services
Contributors from around the world come together in this text to celebrate of the work of distinguished educational psychologist John Biggs and his contributions to teaching and learning in higher education. Organized around Bigg’s “3p model” of learning, the text showcases the presage, process and product of the learning process. The book features articles highlighting the 3 p’s, the overall model, and implications the model has for learning environments. The book’s unique framework provides a sense of uniformity and purpose greater than a collection of articles.
The book’s preface proclaims that the 3p model “enables teachers to be action researchers as it allows them to monitor and modify their teaching in light of their student’s learning” (p.xi). The proceeding chapters illuminate pedagogical and research techniques applicable to not just traditional instructors, but to all within the academe who work with students on a regular basis. Those who recognize all interactions as potential student learning opportunities will benefit from the learning processes and theoretical implications addressed in this book. Specifically, Chapter 8 “Towards a Theory of Quality in Higher Education” addresses how we can improve the quality of education by examining the quality and process of knowledge formation. When we examine student learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, the process through which knowledge is constructed becomes the core of quality in higher education. The development of knowledge must be a responsibility of multiple parties within the academe; it should not be solely reliant upon the traditional student-teacher relationship. Thus the title “teacher” can be applied to multiple players; not just the classroom instructor. Furthermore, it is emphasized that the most effective teachers engage in reciprocal relationships in which the teacher learns as much from the student as the student learns from the teacher. As an academic advisor, the notion of advising as teaching is significantly supported by these postulations.
The chapters that focus on the SOLO taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) may be of particular interest to academic advisors as they provide a model for measuring the stage at which a student is operating in relation to desired student learning outcomes. As assessment in academic advising becomes an increasing priority, the SOLO model may be a tool to guide assessment research.
The emergent theme of the entire book is that, in our multiple and varying roles, we in the academe need to see ourselves not only as specialists in our individual disciplines but as teachers.
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. (1998). Book by Dart, B. and Boulton-Lewis, G. Review by Cynthia Demetriou. Victoria, Australia: Acer Press. 270pp. $40.65 (AUD)