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Theme: Strategies and Innovations in Teaching & Learning

Teaching research competency at the Sociology Foundation level: some thoughts and practices*

Louise Hagemeier
Department of Sociology
University of the Witwatersrand

This paper forms part of an ongoing attempt to reflect on the ways in which Biggs’ (1999a) notion of “constructive alignment” has been used to design, implement and review the curriculum of the Sociology Foundation course at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The course’s key aim is to encourage student learning of a number of competencies, which involve the integration of disciplinary content and the skills needed to work with and understand this content in accepted ways. Previous papers have identified the principles that have shaped the course’s teaching and learning activities, and assessment practices, to create an aligned curriculum in which such learning can be achieved. This paper shifts the focus to one competency in particular, namely research, and explores how “constructive alignment” has been adopted for the teaching and learning of this crucial competency.

*The author wishes to acknowledge the valuable contribution of present and former colleagues at the university to the design of the Sociology Foundation curriculum: L Alfred, A Button, L Dison and S Kariuki.

Full Paper in MS Word

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