22 SES 03 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
Following the 1999 Bologna Declaration, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) emerged through the Bologna Process designed to promote the mobility of teachers, researchers and students, to ensure that teaching was of a high quality, and to embed a European dimension into higher education (HE). Pedagogical change forms a part of the Bologna Process through the introduction of outcomes-based learning. However, as the European Students’ Union (ESU 2010) study suggests, implementation is patchy at best.
Outcomes-based approaches emphasise student centred learning (Biggs-Tang, 2007) however, the ESU report (p.109).suggests that there is resistance to change and a lack of support available for academic staff to consider how they might change their pedagogic practice.
This paper focuses on how lecturers at a London university engage with pedagogic practices in relation to their European students and how these students experience these practices. Using qualitative research, we consider pedagogic practices across six disciplines and their implications for inclusion and exclusion in higher education, taking into account issues of diversity, inequality and difference. The paper discusses how academic staff select their pedagogic strategies and whether there is a disjuncture between the ways in which they are experienced by staff and students. We problematise the ways in which lecturers understand and articulate their students’ needs and learning, exploring assumptions staff bring to pedagogic practices in relation to issues of student identity. In doing so, we respond to the ESU report and to Richardson’s observation (2005) that ‘future research needs to aim at illuminating the interplay between student learning and teaching.’
Assumptions can no longer be made about prior experience of learning at the point of entry into higher education (Haggis, 2008). It is unreasonable to expect that students intuitively know how to study at this level or understand university academic conventions, especially when coming from different educational cultures. The jargon students encounter, considered quotidian in academia may, in fact, alienate some, despite implicit references in course material, which may remain unnoticed by students unfamiliar with academic discourses. Potentially problematic for home students, these aspects can be even more disorientating and alienating for European and international students.
In this paper we take a sociocultural view of pedagogy, which allows us to see how participants in different pedagogic situations will make assumptions in their choices of practice on the basis of their pedagogical constructs. These assumptions may or may not be shared by all participants; they are likely to remain implicit; and they may exert significant constraint over what it is possible to do in the particular learning and teaching context (Mann 2005; Fanghanel 2007).
The key research questions considered here are:
· How (if at all) do current HE pedagogical practices address issues of diversity and difference?
· How do students understand and articulate their needs, experiences and expectations of HE pedagogies?
· What are the assumptions and aims that higher education teachers bring to their teaching practices in relation to addressing the needs of their European and international students?
Archer, L (2003) Race, Masculinity and Schooling: Muslim Boys and Education, Buckingham: Open University Press Biggs, J and Tang, C (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University: What the student does, Buckingham: Open University Press Burke, PJ (2012) The Right to Higher Education: Beyond Widening Participation. London & New York: Routledge Duhs,R. (2012) The Bologna Process: A Case Study of Pedagogical Change, Education Sciences and Society European Students’ Union (2010a), Bologna at the finish line: An account of ten years of European higher education reform, in http://www.esib.org/documents/ publications/ESU_BAFL_publication.pdf [04/01/2010]. Haggis, T. (2006) 'Pedagogies for diversity: retaining critical challenge amidst fears of 'dumbing down'', Studies in Higher Education, 31(5), 521-535 Hockings, C.S. et al (2008) Learning and Teaching for Social Diversity and Difference: Full Research Report ESRC End of Award Report, RES-139-25-0222, Swindon: ESRC Richardson, J.T.E (2005). Students’ approaches to learning and teachers’ approaches to teaching in higher education. Education Psychology 25, no.6: 673-80 Trowler, P. and Cooper, A. (2002) ‘Teaching and learning regimes: implicit theories of recurrent practices in the enhancement of teaching and learning through educational development programmes’ Higher Education Research Development, 21(3) 221-240 Zepke, N. and Leach, L.J. (2007) ‘Improving student outcomes in higher education: New Zealand teachers’ views on teaching students from diverse backgrounds’ Teaching in Higher Education, 12(5-6) 655-668
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