22 SES 07 D, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
The process of curriculum development is an under-researched area within higher education, most particularly in respect of civically engaged pedagogies. Community based learning (or ‘service learning’) aims to develop students' civic responsibility and the skills of citizenship while enhancing community capacity through service (Howard 1993). Academic credit is gained on the basis of demonstrated application of discipline-specific theory to practice and for reflection on the experience. The pedagogy is well established in the US and its emergence in Europe is evidence of how engaged higher education institutions can fulfil their public role in promoting citizenship (Bergan, 2009).
A central role of the academic is to plan a curriculum for civic engagement, taking account of values, outcomes, pedagogy, assessment and evaluation, while capturing the diverse goals of the pedagogy and meeting the requirements of quality assurance systems. How academics approach this task of curriculum development is the focus of this paper.
The deliberative model of curriculum planning of Walker (1990) and models developed by Jackson and Shaw (2002) affirm the significance of belief systems which academics bring to the process of curriculum planning. Toohey (1999) attends to the significance of beliefs, values and ideologies in course design and Simon (1994) asserts the inherently political nature of the education project. Barnett and Coate’s (2005) conception of the engaged curriculum is germane to the design of a civically engaged pedagogy. Enabling and constraining conditions in respect of curriculum innovation impact on the process (Hannon and Silver 2000). These theoretical perspectives provide valuable lenses with which to explore the process and practice of curriculum development for community based learning.
In terms of context, the Bologna Process and the European and Irish Frameworks of Qualifications offer legitimising frameworks with which to align the pedagogy, as do the recommendations of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship (2007). Commitment to engagement in mission statements and national strategy provides a potentially fruitful context (Higher Education Authority 2011).
Barnett, R. & Coate, K. (2005) Engaging the curriculum in higher education Buckingham: SRHE & Open University Press. Bergan, S. (2009) Higher education as a ''public good and public responsibility'': what does it mean? in Bergan, S., Guarga, R., Pollak, E., Dias, S, J., Tandon, R. & Tilak, J. B. G. (Eds.) Public Responsibility for Higher Education. Paris, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. pp. 43-61. Boland, J. (2008) Embedding a civic dimension within the higher education curriculum: a study of policy, process and practice in Ireland. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. Hannon, A. & Silver, H. (2000) Innovating in higher education, Buckingham: Society for Research in Higher Education Higher Education Authority (2011) National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. in Department of Education and Skills (Ed.) Dublin. Howard, J. P. F. (1993) Community service in the curriculum in ed : . in Howard, J. P. F. (Ed.) Praxis I: A faculty case on community service learning. Ann Arbour: OCSL Press. Jackson, N. & Shaw, M. (2002) Conceptions and Visual Representations of the Curriculum The LTSN Generic Centre. Simon, R. L. (1994) Neutrality and the academic ethic, Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, Inc. Taskforce on Active Citizenship (20070 Report of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship. Dublin: Task Force on Active Citizenship. Toohey, S. (1999) Designing courses for higher education Buckinghamshire SRHE/OUP. Walker, D. (1990) Fundamentals of curriculum, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
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