University of Limerick
Mcnamara,Mannix, Patricia.pdf (2.52 MB)

Exploring the nature of teaching and learning: an explicit examination of the contribution of educative relationships to effective higher education pedagogy and the role of self- study in the development of teacher professional identity

Download (2.52 MB)
posted on 2022-10-12, 11:16 authored by PATRICIA MANNIX-MC NAMARAPATRICIA MANNIX-MC NAMARA
The quality of teaching that occurs within academic institutions has begun to feature more frequently in recent academic discourse. However, the types of educative relationships created with students features less frequently in the discourse. Yet they are an important aspect of the learning process. How academics understand the nature of their teaching and their impact on the learning of their students is an important consideration for those who seek to champion the development of mindful and empowering teaching in higher education. This research sought to explore my lived experiences of teaching and learning in higher education. A self-study action research methodology was chosen in which I sought to examine how students understood the nature of the educative relationships they experienced in higher education. It also explored in depth the nature of the educative relationships that I created with my students and how this impacted on their learning. The research was characterised by deep reflection on my practice as an educator in a university setting. A qualitative approach was employed and data were collected from a variety of sources such as student interviews, student focus groups, student reflective journals, evaluations of my teaching, focus groups with a team of critical peers, and my own research diary. Self-study action research facilitated me to develop my own theory of my practice as a higher education teacher. It illuminated the importance of educative relationships and the role of empowerment in student learning. It also gave me insight into the potential of empowerment as a prevailing ethos in higher education which can be facilitated by encouraging teachers to be more pedagogically reflective. Supervision is an important pedagogical relationship and needs to be reconceptualised in a manner that does justice to its pedagogical dimensions. Universities need to find creative and engaging ways to really listen to the voices of their students and action research is one way in which to do this. Action research has much to offer because it encourages academics to think in scholarly ways about their practice. It is important that we listen to and gain deeper insight into higher education teachers’ conceptualisation of their identity as teachers in order to champion teaching as a scholarly activity. It could significantly aid the development of a more holistic higher education pedagogy that prioritises scholarship of teaching and supervision.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Moore, Sarah

Second supervisor

Coughlan, Barry





Department or School

  • School of Education

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick Theses


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager