Teaching + Research is an initiative that acknowledges that teaching and research can take different forms and that teaching is not always accepted as research in its own right. Reflecting a scenario in which there are both contradictions and congruence between research and teaching, this programme celebrates and disseminates best practices in both teaching and research, whether it be: teaching operating on its own pedagogical terms; research produced independently of the classroom; or interrelated research and teaching. It aims to operate as a platform for disseminating best practice research and teaching for academics through events, films and publications.
The Society for Artistic Research for example, defines research as thinking through artistic practice and sees it as a central mode of intellectual and intuitive enquiry. The Arts and Humanities Research Council sees both the qualitative and quantitative approaches of the humanities as supporting today’s ‘cultural economy’. The National Science Foundation defines research more ‘traditionally’, often directly linking fact-based enquiry with their mission of advancing quantifiable knowledge. While not limited to academia, much of the research these organizations support happens in our universities, where teaching is also a central component of the academic mission.
The International Association of Universities acknowledges the tension that sometimes exists in academia between the demands of teaching and those of research. This is echoed by the Association of American Educators who underline the importance of pedagogy in higher education. Celebrating the importance and knowledge base underpinning teaching is also central to the mission of bodies such as the Higher Education Academy. In supporting best practice pedagogy in higher education, they set standards and goals for the impact of teaching across social and economic sectors. The recognition of the importance of teaching is also evident in recent formulations such as the Teaching Excellence Framework in the UK that promises to link state funding to not only research quality, but also teaching excellence.
The Teaching, Learning + Research initiative is premised on a concern for these questions and an attempt to foster debate and informed discussion on the future of teaching, learning and research. Reflecting this scenario, it celebrates and disseminates best practices in both teaching and research, whether it be teaching operating on its own pedagogical terms; research produced independently of the classroom; or interrelated research + teaching whatever form that takes.
AMPS has worked with universities in the UK, the US, Sweden, Pakistan, South Africa and Germany to organise academic conferences around the themes of teaching, learning and research. Examples include:
Focus on Pedagogy. Virtual, 2021; Online Education: Teaching in a Time of Change. Virtual, 2021; Teaching-Learning-Research: Design and Environments. University of Manchester / Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. 2020; Experiential Design – Rethinking Relations Between People, Objects and Environments. Florida State University, USA. 2020; Education, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World. Stevens Institute of Technology, New York/New Jersey, USA. 2019.
From its conferences AMPS has developed several publication streams for research into teaching, learning and research that cross its Academic YouTube Channel, its conference proceedings series and special issues of its journal. Importantly, it runs a series with Routledge and has worked with other publishers. Publications include:
Emerging Practices in Architectural Pedagogy: Accommodating an Uncertain Future. Routledge, 2021; Progressive Studio Pedagogy: Examples from Architecture and Allied Design Fields. Routledge, 2020; Housing the Future: Alternative Approaches for Tomorrow. Libri Publishing, 2016; Design for a Complex World: Challenges in Practice and Education. Libri Publishing, 2016
In working across various strands of research and pedagogical theory in art, design, architecture and the social sciences AMPS has connected academics in over 50 countries. It has also connected people working across disciplinary boundaries and facilitated collaborative projects across national borders. It has brought together departments in single universities and linked practicing teachers, with researchers and industry. Examples of its partners include:
Routledge, Taylor & Francis; UCL Press; Libri Publishing; the University of Manchester, UK; the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Stevens Institute of Technology, USA; the University of Kassel, Germany, Beaconhouse University, Pakistan; Northumbria University, UK; Syracuse University, New York, USA; and many more.