Breaking down student-staff barriers: Moving towards pedagogic flexibility

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Jenkins & Healey (2005) have argued that there are many factors that can lead to a separation of research and teaching within universities. Teachers often introduce research to students in ways that suggest knowledge is fully formed and that students’ role is simply to digest this knowledge. This situation is often exacerbated because teachers fall into pedagogical habits that they can find hard to break; often due to the time and regulatory constraints faced when planning new teaching. Indeed, academic staff and students often find themselves constrained by pedagogic familiarity, and a sense that it is difficult to innovate and evolve new teaching approaches if alternative pedagogic possibilities have not been previously experienced or imagined (Bovill, 2014). Many teachers will experience overwhelming day-to-day demands of academic life, and may avoid or resist change to their teaching due to pressure to focus on research and not to spend too much time (re)designing teaching. In this context, investing time in changing teaching may be considered futile or risky; a situation that leads to pedagogic frailty and conservative teaching approaches. So how can academic staff move beyond pedagogic frailty and familiarity? There is a growing array of research and practice exploring how students and staff are collaborating to undertake co-inquiry, co-research and co-construction of knowledge through the co-design and co-creation of learning and teaching. I argue in this chapter, that co-created learning and teaching may offer an opportunity for staff and students to move from a position of pedagogic frailty towards pedagogic flexibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPedagogic Frailty & Resilience in the University
EditorsIan Kinchin, Naomi Winstone
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-9463009829
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • pedagogic flexibility
  • students as partners
  • student engagement
  • co-creation
  • Resilience


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