Previous research on conceptions of teaching comes from three distinct areas. The first is based on interviews with students and staff in higher education, the second involves the investigation of the conceptions and beliefs of schoolteachers, while the third derives from more general consideration of the nature of conceptions themselves. The empirical study reported here drew on these differing research areas to distinguish between beliefs and conceptions about good teaching and to explore their possible origins. The data came from student teachers, but the findings contribute to current thinking about conceptions of teaching in higher education. Bringing the empirical findings together with the three areas of previous research enables a more complete concept map to be drawn to summarise what may underlie the notion of “good teaching”.
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