Teaching and learning cultures in higher education: a mismatch in conceptions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Instructional approaches in higher education that foster learning based on internal values are required with the enrollment of wider and more diverse audiences. The current study explores this challenge with a focus on the relationship between students’ learning cultures and the way instructors’ view them. We interviewed 76 students and six instructors at an established academic institution. Data comprised of 210 students’ and 146 instructors’ utterances that were analyzed using mixed methods. Findings revealed a mismatch of instructors’ conceptions about the learning culture of the typical student, potentially leading to compromises in their teaching practices. We provide evidence that reciprocal relations exist between cultures of teaching and learning, contributing to the wicked challenges of rethinking the role of teachers in reinforcing passive learning cultures in undergraduate education. Adoption of internal-based values teaching approaches can help break this feedback loop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-863
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation [grant number 1716/12].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 HERDSA.


  • Internal values
  • learning culture
  • mixed methods
  • phenomenographic
  • undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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