The relationship between teaching and research

In the now widely cited classification, Griffiths (2004)  described a number of models of the relationship between teaching and research in the following way:

  • Research-led teaching - based on the ‘information transmission’ model; curriculum structured around subject content; focus – understanding research findings;
  • Research-oriented teaching - curriculum structured around research processes as well as subject content; focus – understanding research processes, teaching inquiry skills and ‘research ethos’;
  • Research-based teaching - curriculum designed around inquiry-based activities; focus - learning through inquiry; the teacher-student division minimised.

Healey and Jenkins (2009: 7) extended Griffiths’ classification, mapping it onto two axes in the following way:

The nature of undergraduate research and inquiry

For Healey and Jenkins, these four ways of engaging students in research and enquiry are all valuable and interdependent, and effective programmes and modules would incorporate all these different modes. At the same time, students learn in the most active manner and become producers, rather than consumers, of knowledge in the ‘research-based’ section of the diagram. This echoes what Griffiths wrote about the shift in the staff-student relationship in contexts where research is strongly integrated into teaching:

"Instead of being just recipients of knowledge imparted by the teacher, the students become participants in the process of creating knowledge. They cease to be merely an audience to research: they join their teachers in the activity of advanced learning" (2004: 721).