Journal of Praxis in Higher Education <p>JPHE is a fully online, open access journal dedicated to high quality research on, or related to, <em>praxis </em>within higher education teaching, learning, research, and activities aimed at impact on wider society (e.g., policy influence, activist research, or capacity building). In an era characterised by internationalisation, increasing accountability, strong ties between universities and national and regional economies, and imperatives concerning sustainable development, university communities are under great pressure to meet ever-increasing and often competing demands. The moral-political dimension of higher education and attention to universities’ civic responsibilities are arguably sometimes forgotten in the daily struggle to meet such demands. This journal has been established with this concern in mind, and seeks to promote continued debate and exploration of some of the key responsibilities of, and tensions pervading, higher education (see the JPHE’s editorial, Vol 1, Issue, 1) with a view to informing attempts to transform it in socially just and sustainable ways.</p> en-US (Petra Angervall) (Melina Aarnikoivu) Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Insights into teachers’ views on sharing ways of knowing and ways of teaching between and beyond existing disciplines <p>Since academic teachers belong to different disciplines and thus discourses, they have different ways of knowing and teaching. Recent societal challenges call for thinking beyond boundaries and re-visiting academic practices. The purpose of this study is to investigate how academic teachers view sharing of knowledge and teaching. The study is based on survey data from eight faculties and interviews of teachers from each of these faculties at the University of Gothenburg. The results show that professional development courses in higher education teaching and learning, as well as open practices, and collaboration between academic disciplines and society are practices, which Galison (1997) termed trading zones. These trading zones are sources of learning to theorize and to facilitate exchange among peers with the potential to develop knowledge, identity and moral commitments necessary to address societal challenges. Further, the results suggest that universities need to scaffold these sharing practices. The findings inform how academic teachers’ practices can be transformed into sharing between and beyond academic disciplines.</p> Anne Algers, Linda Bradley Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Praxis in Higher Education Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Studying international doctoral researchers: nexus analysis as a mode of inquiry <p>In this paper I argue how nexus analysis (Scollon &amp; Scollon, 2004), as a holistic, qualitative mode of inquiry, can offer a fruitful activist research approach to study international doctoral researchers. To do this, I will introduce and explain the core concepts of nexus analysis and afterwards empirically demonstrate how nexus analysis can be done in practice by presenting a case study on international doctoral researchers in a particular nexus—at a Finnish university. The overall aim of this paper is to present nexus analysis as a viable alternative for those higher education researchers who want to study communication, interaction, and language-related challenges of international doctoral researchers from a bottom-up perspective and, in this way, potentially even challenge the existing decision-making practices.</p> Melina Aarnikoivu Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Praxis in Higher Education Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Through student eyes: Assessment conceptions and quality assurance <p>Recent reforms of higher education systems in Europe, since the implementation of the Bologna Process, encourage teachers to incorporate a range of assessment practices that should be more responsive to students’ learning needs. Over the years, an extensive body of literature has been produced regarding principles and practice guidelines for the assessment of students’ learning outcomes. However, what are students’ conceptions of assessment? The present article, given the strong drive to understand the role that conceptions have in educational practices, focuses on students’ conceptions of assessment within the Italian higher education system. More specifically, this paper reports on a research study realised through the administration of the Students’ Conceptions of Assessment Inventory (SCoA). The data were analysed using a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) design. This study represents a useful step in understanding conceptions that students have of assessment within the framework of quality assurance. Results of the study may set the groundwork for a critical debate on changes and improvements in the higher education field.</p> Serafina Pastore Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Praxis in Higher Education Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Fragmented boundary zones between theory and practice in preschool teacher education in Sweden <p>Research dealing with preschool teacher education has been, for a long time, critical<br />of a binary divide between theory and practice. Based on that issue, this study<br />investigates a preschool teacher education programme in Sweden. It focusses on<br />reflection upon theory and practice as an affordance offered to students in studies and<br />work. The study used a questionnaire with two groups: campus students<br />following the regular programme and students who were nurses already working at<br />preschools. Analysis shows a fragmented education where the groups faced different<br />problems, but also that neither of them could connect reflections on theory and<br />practice at the workplace to their own learning approaches in either studies or<br />working matters. How the students experienced affordances depended on their<br />educational skills and knowledge, and the programme relied mostly on individual<br />reflection as the solution to the binary divide. This reliance seemed to work better for<br />campus students, who were challenged by the new environmental affordances. The<br />students in the field-based programme were close to the preschools’ pedagogical<br />micro-practice, which limited the possibility for critical reflection on theory and<br />practice and its contextual conditions, especially for students who were nurses.<br />Workplace routines seem to structure the students’ learning instead.</p> Jan Gustafsson Nyckel, Rolf Lander, Per-Olof Thång Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Praxis in Higher Education Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Maybe-ing and must be-ing in higher education Kathleen Mahon, Petra Angervall, Sara Khalifeh Soltani, David Hoffman, Melina Aarnikoivu , Lill Langelotz, Catarina Player Koro Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Praxis in Higher Education Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000