A situative metaphor for teacher learning: the case of university tutors learning to grade student coursework

Boyd, Pete ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2234-3595 and Bloxham, Susan (2013) A situative metaphor for teacher learning: the case of university tutors learning to grade student coursework. British Educational Research Journal, 40 (2). pp. 337-352.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/berj.3082


In the continuing concern about academic standards in the higher education sector a great deal of emphasis has been placed on quality assurance procedures rather than on considering how university tutors learn to grade the quality of work produced by students. As part of a larger research project focused on how tutors grade student coursework this paper contributes by offering a new metaphor for such tutor learning based on a socio-cultural perspective. The research project used think aloud protocols recorded as university tutors graded student coursework and this was followed by semi-structured interviews. The voluntary participants consisted of twenty five lecturers in four contrasting domains, humanities, art & design, medicine and teacher education, in two teaching-led and one research intensive universities. Analysis of the interview data helped to develop and evaluate a metaphorical framework that helps to understand the work and learning of the lecturers. Grading, writing feedback, second marking and moderation are important situated professional learning opportunities for tutors to debate and reach agreement on the academic standard demonstrated by student coursework. The metaphor positions learning to grade student coursework as a complex interplay between the vertical domain of public knowledge and the horizontal domain of tutors’ practical wisdom. The metaphor developed in this paper is proposed for critical consideration and wider use by academics, teachers, academic developers and teacher educators as an aid to better understanding of teacher’ professional learning.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: British Educational Research Journal
Publisher: Wiley for British Educational Research Association (BERA)
ISSN: 1469-3518
Departments: Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Pete Boyd
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2014 16:38
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 11:31
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501


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