Redesigning the curriculum: Applying Problem Based Learning in a new Context

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

This article presents a case-based study in which we explore how experience with PBL in Danish universities seems to work in a Ugandan context and whether it is expedient and possible to translate pedagogical approaches from one context to another? Funded by the Danish Development Agency, Danida, and motivated and framed by a partnership between universities in global North and South, the process of pedagogic translation is discussed from a postcolonial perspective as we explore to what extent we manage to create a partnership with mutual respect. To elucidate this overarching question, we discuss how participants in a learning situation construe potential challenges in implementing a new learning approach. For this purpose we combine post-colonial analysis with Critical Discourse Analysis, following Fairclough (2003) and Martin and White (2005), to uncover implicit attitudinal positions. Our findings indicate that Problem Based Learning seems productive in a Ugandan context as the participants construe the introduction of PBL in overall positive terms. This finding invites a discussion of post-colonialism and to what extent the participants manage to challenge naturalized post-colonial discourse patterns residing in traditional educational practices. Our findings indicate for instance that although we start the process as colleagues, together we construct a well-known and respectful institutional relationship between professors and students as a way of avoiding a colonizer/colonized relation.
Keywords: Problem Based Learning, postcolonial theory, decolonization, discourse theory, appraisal
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPedagogy, Culture and Society
ISSN1468-1366
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 26 mar. 2019

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curriculum
learning
planning process
discourse analysis
ethnography
university
discourse
interaction

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abstract = "This article explores how translation of a pedagogical approach from a Danish University to a Ugandan university is negotiated by participants in a capacity building project. More specifically, it offers an empirical study of the planning process of transforming a traditional curriculum to a Problem Based Learning (PBL) curriculum and how the change is construed discursively in the new context. Focusing on data from two workshops in situ, we uncover predominant discourses and implicit attitudinal positions, and we discuss our findings in the light of the postcolonial setting in which the interaction unfolds. We conclude that although the participants seem amenable to introducing PBL in the curriculum, they express subtle hesitation about the feasibility of such a transition. This leads us to suggest that our partnership might have been influenced by ‘the postcolonial elephant in the room’. Our analyses are informed by Critical Discourse Analysis, auto ethnography and postcolonial theory.",
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Redesigning the curriculum : Applying Problem Based Learning in a new Context. / Lassen, Inger Marie; Jensen, Iben.

I: Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 26.03.2019.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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