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Seeking responsive forms of pedagogy in architectural education

Salama, Ashraf M. (2013) Seeking responsive forms of pedagogy in architectural education. Field, 5 (1). pp. 9-30. ISSN 1755-0068

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Abstract

Seeking responsive forms of pedagogy in architectural education, this paper responds to some of the negative tendencies that continue to characterize the delivery of knowledge content in lecture-based courses. Such tendencies are identified under the headings of: a) science as a body of knowledge versus science as a method of exploration, and b) learning theories about the phenomena versus getting the feel of the behaviour of the phenomena. The paper underscores the shift from mechanistic pedagogy to systematic pedagogy and the characteristics of each. Building on critical pedagogy and the hidden curriculum concept transformative pedagogy was introduced as a form of pedagogy that can be intertwined into mainstream teaching practices. Translating the premises underlying systemic and transformative pedagogies, inquiry-based, active, and experiential learning were identified as learning mechanisms amenable to work against the two identified negative tendencies. These mechanisms were implemented through a series of exercises in a lecture-based course, I have taught in spring 2010 and 2011: ARCH 313- Community and Neighbourhood Design Workshop, offered as part of the core architecture professional program at Qatar university. The exercises involved a) critical reflection as a form of in-class active learning, b) a walking tour-PLADEW as an experience-based mechanism for learning from the environment, and c) a design game as form of collaborative learning for students’ active engagement in a classroom setting. While each exercise has its own contribution, they offer students multiple learning opportunities while fostering their capabilities to shift from passive listeners to active learners, from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers, while engaging in a wide spectrum of mental activities.