Learning is a Problem-solving Activity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter is dedicated to Mike Lawson, who has now somewhat retired
from academia, in so far as truly engaged academics never really retire,
after a long and distinguished career.
All too often, the research findings about learning and teaching remain
a conversation and sometimes a debate between researchers but fail to be
known and used in educational practice. We recognise this when we reflect
that Mike Lawson’s contribution to educational quality was not limited to
his research into theoretical conceptions of quality in learning and teaching.
In his almost 50 years of practice as a university educator, Mike taught at all
levels of higher education and in doing so modelled the theories generated
in his research. Mike made learning possible, as evidenced in the students’
reflections on his teaching and supervision presented in this chapter.
Mike Lawson was thorough and interpersonally engaging in his teaching.
His course content was rigorous and, importantly, he held high
expectations of us, his students, ensuring that we read primary research
publications. Student reflections sourced from a 2002 formal peer review
report (undergraduate and postgraduate classes) which I, as the author,
sought and gained Mike’s permission to share in this chapter, bear testament
to the fact that Mike’s courses were always carefully conceived and
designed, and theoretically defensible. However, Mike claims laconically
not to recognise the teacher to whom the students refer in the peer review
report! The peer review information is supplemented here with participant
observations by past PhD candidates, some of whom are authors of chapters
in this volume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProblem Solving for Teaching and Learning
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429400902
ISBN (Print)9780367001834
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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