Putting research first? Perspectives from academics and students on first-year undergraduates learning research
Exploring the place and potential of ‘research’ in undergraduate degrees has stimulated higher-educational debate for decades, strongly influencing policies, practices and structures. This article’s consideration of some problems associated with teaching and learning about research during the first year of undergraduate degrees, helps throw that debate into a sharper light. Should first-year undergraduates be asked to learn from their own or others’ research, and what difficulties might they experience? What relevant previous learning about research, or lack of it, might they bring with them into their degree? Working with empirical data from across one English university, and literature from universities across the world, these questions are discussed by exploring first-year undergraduate teaching and learning, through the lenses of critical inquiry and constructivist grounded theory.