Troels Krarup


86% af studietiden. En undersøgelse af studieaktiviteter, -teknikker og –strategier uden for undervisningen blandt studerende ved Københavns Universitet


A small questionnaire survey has been conducted to shed light on the 86% of students’ work time that take place outside class according to the official norm in the mandatory second-semester course Science and Society (philosophy of science) of the undergraduate Sociology program and on students’ academic and personal relation to the course content. Integrating the results of the survey with exam results and experiences, the official course evaluation, and a recent study of dropouts from the Sociology program, the study corrects a number of prejudices about the students and occasions substantial changes to the course in view of dealing with the problems identified. Insights gained relate to general problems and therefore motivate a discussion of the role of the legally prescribed philosophy of science course in academic programs in general. Concretely, first-year Sociology students feel overwhelmed by and lack a sense of purpose in relation to theory – something that philosophy of science is in obvious danger of enhancing. Science and Society has recently been re-conceived as a methodological (rather than theoretical) and generally academically cultivating course. The analysis suggests that this development should be continued, but also points to a manifest danger of a seemingly too high SOLO taxonomic level for second-semester students as the result of the attempt to relate course content directly to advanced discussions in other courses (methods, theory and thematic courses). This occasions reflections about the role of the course as a theory-motivating and theory-opening methodology course that should be of general didactic relevance to philosophy of science courses at Danish universities. The aim is to enhance and specify the course’s focus on the methodological role of theory within different currents of the Sociology discipline and different ways of reading, discussing and developing theory. This is supported by specific didactic initiatives on Science and Society in view of a stronger alignment of the course content (curriculum, assignments, tools, study groups) to the learning goals and assessment criteria.