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Teaching and Learning in an Expanding Higher Education System (the MacFarlane Report): A technical fix?

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Teaching and Learning in an Expanding Higher Education System (the MacFarlane Report) provides a set of recommendations which will allow for a much-expanded provision in higher education. Though produced in Scotland, it suggests the way forward nationally in Britain. The ‘new role˚s for higher education which it advocates is decidedly instrumental. It proposes a new pedagogy for higher education which has much to do with the ‘new pedagogy˚s seen during the 1980s in further education. This flexible, learner-centred pedagogy is assumed in the Report to be compatible with computer-based media. In this sense, the Report accords with the emergent discourse of flexible capitalism and post-modernist culture. On the other hand, the Report recommends an over-arching teaching and learning board which may do much to co-ordinate and systematise not just the pedagogical means but also the curricular content of higher education. In that systematising sense, the Report is a product of the modern (not postmodern) mind, being replete with a Taylorist discourse of quality control.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Dundee

Publication date: June 1, 1995

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