The construction of teaching roles at Aalborg university centre, 1970–1980

VFC (Ginie) Servant - Miklos*, Claus M. Spliid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a historical analysis of the development of teaching roles at Aalborg University Centre in its first 10 years. The research highlights three processes through which the interpretation of the new ‘supervisor’ roles was constructed within the problemoriented, project-based educational model of AUC. First, the authors show that the institutional framework for teaching roles was deliberately left open to significant interpretation from the various faculties of the university; second, the critical theoretical model that had served as a guideline for the inception of project work in Roskilde failed to make an impact in Aalborg, whereas teachers from AUC were more receptive to constructivist psychology as a theoretical framework for practice; third, through community-building and negotiation within the faculties, different interpretations of teaching roles emerged in the different disciplines. The paper closes with a reflection on the implications of these findings for the more general context of higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-809
Number of pages22
JournalHistory of Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This letter was supported by the majority of the engineering teachers at Teknat – seeking a return to the discipline-oriented and teacher-directed education. They proposed two semesters of traditional courses in basic sciences before the students could be allowed to do project work. The consequences of the complaint were a rapid evaluation followed by intensive work in relevant management committees and study boards, resulting in a new study plan for all Teknat students – the plan included more traditional and theoretical courses to answer the concern about building a stronger foundation in basic sciences, as well as intensive remedial training of the under-qualified students.54 Meanwhile, social sciences teachers interpreted the phrase ‘gradual specialisation of studies’ so that in reality studies within social sciences turned into a two-year basisuddannelse programme similar to the one at RUC.55 The battle between the disciplinary, traditional viewpoint against the interdisciplinary problem-oriented viewpoint, loyal to the intentions of the Planning Committee, cut through teacher as well as student ranks and lasted into the 1980s, by which point each faculty had its own interpretation of the model, none of which followed precisely the original plan.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'The construction of teaching roles at Aalborg university centre, 1970–1980'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this