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The Surprising Persistence of Biglan's Classification Scheme

Simpson, A.

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Within higher education systems, different institutions deliver different patterns of disciplines. A simple analysis of the structure of that pattern of disciplines across institutions in one higher education system uncovers a surprising relationship. That is, the key dimensions which describe that structure align nearly perfectly with dimensions discovered in a very different context: the Biglan classification scheme. This paper explains correspondence analysis as a mechanism for uncovering structure in simple contingency tables, shows the accuracy of the fit with Biglan's scheme and demonstrates that the analysis also has a measure of predictive validity in its ability to classify previously unclassified disciplines. The study not only acts as a more accurate validation of Biglan's scheme than those previously undertaken, but indicates that a scheme developed in the USA in the 1970s has current validity in a very different higher education system and suggests disciplines as a core genotype of institutions.


Simpson, A. (2015). The Surprising Persistence of Biglan's Classification Scheme. Studies in Higher Education, 1520-1531.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 18, 2015
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2015
Publication Date Dec 16, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 16, 2017
Journal Studies in Higher Education
Print ISSN 0307-5079
Electronic ISSN 1470-174X
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1520-1531
Keywords Disciplines, Higher education systems, Biglan classification scheme.


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