Research-rich education

The ‘Educate for Impact’ priority of the LSE 2030 strategy highlights the importance of supporting students to become critical investigators for the world. One of the ways in which this will be achieved is by embedding enquiry-based learning and research practice throughout the curriculum, with the aim of enabling enable students, both individually and as part of a team, to tackle complex social and global challenges.

Through active participation in research and enquiry, students will develop:

  • intellectual depth
  • ethical awareness
  • effective approaches to public engagement
  • a range of skills vital for life and work in a digital age.

Thinking through connections between education and research

A number of models of the ‘teaching research nexus’ have been developed that will help you map your course/programme content and identify any areas that may need further development.

An assumption that underpins each of these models is that whilst research-led teaching - structured around subject content, and the content selected is directly based on the research interests of teaching staff - has its place in curriculum design, for learners to develop a more sophisticated understanding of disciplinary content they need to engage in active and experiential learning.

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The student as scholar model (adapted from Hodge et al., 2009)

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Levy (2009) proposed a similar matrix that also included staff-led and student-led vertical axis, whilst the horizontal axis distinguishes between information-led (existing knowledge) and discovery-led (new knowledge) inquiry.

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Levy’s (2009) version of the teaching research nexus model

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It is worth highlighting that both Healey and Jenkins and Levy stated that whilst activities relating to all four quadrants of their models should be included in the design of new curricula, those relating to the top two quadrants more fully exploit the links between teaching and research and have the greatest potential to enhance students’ learning.

You can explore further models and debates relating to the connections between education and research via Dilly Fung’s (2017) open access book A Connected Curriculum for Higher Education (Chapter 2 – Learning through research and enquiry). 

Making the connections between education and research

Students connecting with research and researchers outlines different ways in which students can be supported in finding out about research; talking about research; doing research; and, producing research outputs. The guidance also addresses what the outcomes will be on the students’ learning.

Examples of how these ideas have been implemented across the sector can be accessed via Dilly Fung’s (2017) open access book A Connected Curriculum for Higher Education.

Further research opportunities for students

You may want to encourage students to engage with School-wide research- based initiatives:

Further advice and support

Each academic department at the LSE has its own dedicated Eden Centre departmental advisers, who have a wide range of expertise and are available to work with colleagues on any teaching or learning related matter.