Curriculum and pedagogical developments within university surveying & geomatics courses

Young, Garfield Osbourne (2013) Curriculum and pedagogical developments within university surveying & geomatics courses. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

In the last three decades there have been major changes in how surveying is practiced, and what surveyors have been trained and educated to do with the new expertise that technological advancements offer. Within surveying communities it is generally acknowledged that the changes in the profession have brought about an urgent need for change in educational programmes if they are to have relevance to contemporary practice.

The thesis reports on a research study which explored the nature and impact of the educational strategies used in university surveying courses. The study employed a nested case study approach at two levels. Firstly, fifteen initial case studies of university programmes from thirteen countries provided a broad perspective of surveying education across the world. Secondly, two of these programmes were selected for in-depth comparative case studies to provide deeper understandings of the educational systems in two distinct contexts. The inquiry methods for the initial case studies included documentary analysis and interviews of senior academics and representatives of professional surveying bodies. For the two in-depth case studies, the inquiry methods included observations of pedagogical activities, focussed group discussions and interviews of university staff and students as well as professional surveyors. The interviews were recorded and thematically analysed.

Some concepts from Bourdieu’s theory of practice were useful in coming to understandings about the interrelationship between the field of surveying education and the field of surveying practice. The study identified tensions and prospects within and between the programmes studied and between them and the profession. The key issues that emerged were: the predominance of highly discipline specific curricula with some indication of a shifting to a more broad-based education; tensions between industry expectations and the academic focus; a high level of interest in the university courses from the profession and uncertainty about the real meaning of geomatics and its relevance to local surveying communities. The findings have critical implications for how surveying/geomatics educational courses are developed in the future. The empirical evidence led to the development of a proposed improved model for contemporary surveying/geomatics education.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Murphy, R.J.L.
Smith, M.J.
Keywords: Higher Education Curriculum; Pedagogy; Professional Education; Surveying; Geomatics
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA 501 Surveying
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 13231
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 07:13
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:38
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13231

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