ERIC Number: ED331442
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Biglan Classification Revisited.
Stoecker, Judith L.
This study replicated previous research that tested the validity of A. Biglan's classification scheme, a theoretical framework for empirically examining the differences among academic disciplines and classifying them according to three dimensions (hard-soft, pure-applied, life-nonlife). In addition, new data were used to attempt continued classification of disciplines not formerly classified by Biglan. Subjects were 1,188 faculty in research and doctoral granting institutions who responded to the 1984 Carnegie Faculty Survey. Ten predictor variables were selected in four core areas: (1) faculty time use; (2) scholarly output format; (3) research funding sources; and (4) faculty attitudes. Each variable was selected on the basis of its ability to differentiate among eight mutually exclusive Biglan academic discipline clusters (soft-pure-life, soft-pure-nonlife, soft-applied-life, soft-applied-nonlife, hard-pure-life, hard-pure-nonlife, hard-applied-life, and hard-applied-nonlife). Data were analyzed using discriminate analysis procedures. Findings supported the use of the Biglan classification system as a valid conceptual framework for the study of academic disciplines. The 10 predictor variables resulted in three significant dimensions consistent with the previously reported Biglan dimensions. The new classification of previously unclassified disciplines was achieved in nursing and dentistry, but variables did not adequately classify the disciplines of medicine, social work, art, music, business, drama, physical education, and law. It was concluded that the Biglan classification scheme provides a valid framework for the study of academic diversity within the higher education system. (13 references) (LPT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Reference Materials - Vocabularies/Classifications
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Biglan Model
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 1991).