22 SES 03 A, Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
Parallel Paper Session
The transition of students into formal education and from one education context to another has a long history in the research literature (Ecclestone at al. 2010), dating back at least to the introduction of compulsory schooling and gathering importance as increasing numbers of students made the transition from primary to secondary school. The significance of student transition into higher education (HE) has similarly grown as a greater proportion of the population is taking up university study. The most recent wave of expansion in OECD nations, aimed at shifting their HE systems from mass to universal participation (Trow 1974; 2006), has brought student transition in HE into sharp relief. Similarly, the policy imperative to enrol increased numbers of students from diverse backgrounds and have them graduate and contribute to a global knowledge economy, has drawn attention to the need to improve student retention and engagement. Among institutions, practitioners and researchers there is now a strengthened focus on the role of student transition to HE (e.g. Hultberg et al. 2009, Heirdsfield et al. 2008, Kift et al. 2010).
Yet “there is no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a transition.” (Ecclestone et al. 2010: 5). Our reading of the research literature suggests that there are three broad ways to conceive of transition and, hence, three approaches to managing and supporting student transition into HE: (1) defined periods of moving, involving transportation: situational change from one place or situation to another; (2) defined periods of maturation, involving transformation: identity change from one persona or life stage to another; and (3) a permanent state of moving and becoming, involving whole of life or continuous change in situations and/or identities.
Each of these contributes to our own conception of transition as the capacity to navigate change. We understand this capacity as closely related to ‘mobility’, ‘aspiration’ and ‘voice’ (Sellar & Gale 2011); capacities with particular significance for advancing student equity in higher education.
The paper explores these accounts of student transition through an examination of projects funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) as well as published research of projects undertaken elsewhere. In each we identify ‘knowledge’, specifically ‘academic capital’ (Bourdieu 1988), as central to how students experience transition. Informed by this, with Bernstein we ask: “How are forms of experience, identity and relation evoked, maintained and changed by the formal transmission of educational knowledge and sensitivities” (Bernstein 2003: 85) in current approaches to student transition?
Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo Academicus (P. Collier, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity Press. Bernstein, B. (2003). Class, Codes and Control Volume III – Towards a Theory of Educational Transmission. Milton Park: Routledge. Ecclestone, K., Biesta, G., & Hughes, M. (2010). Transitions in the lifecourse: the role of identity, agency and structure. In K. Ecclestone, G. Biesta & M. Hughes (Eds.), Transitions and Learning Through the Lifecourse (pp. 1-15). London & New York: Routledge. Heirdsfield, A. M., Walker, S., Walsh, K., & Wilss, L. (2008). Peer Mentoring for First-Year Teacher Education Students: The Mentors' Experience. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 16(2), 109-124. Hultberg, J., Plos, K., Hendry, G. D., & Kjellgren, K. I. (2009). Scaffolding students’ transition to higher education: parallel introductory courses for students and teachers. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 32(1), 47-57. Kift, S., Nelson, K., & Clarke, J. (2010). Transition pedagogy: A third generation approach to FYE - A case study of policy and practice for the higher education sector. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 1(1), 1-20. Sellar, S., & Gale, T. (2011). Mobility, aspiration, voice: A new structure of feeling for student equity in higher education. Critical Studies in Education, 52(2), 115-134. Trow, M. (1974). Problems in the transition from elite to mass higher education Policies for Higher Education (pp. 51-101). Paris: OECD. Trow, M. (2006). Reflections on the Transition from Elite to Mass to Universal Access: Forms and Phases of Higher Education in Modern Societies since WWII. In J. J. F. Forrest & P. G. Altbach (Eds.), International Handbook of Higher Education, Part one: Global Themes and Contemporary Challenges (pp. 243-280). Dordrecht: Springer.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.