• Can we fix education? living emancipatory pedagogy in Higher Education

      Clack, Jim (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-26)
      This paper discusses a 12-week, 15-credit module taught to second year undergraduates during semester 2 of 2017–18 academic year. The module, entitled ‘Deschooling’, aimed to explore notions of emancipatory and critical pedagogy, control and coercion in the education system. Rather than ‘teach’ these concepts as abstract academic theory, I aimed to provide students with ‘lived’ experiences of them. That is, the aim was to provide a ‘deschooled’, ‘unoppressed’ experience for students by facilitating, so far as possible, democratic decision-making amongst the group. Subsequent reflection on the successes (or otherwise) of the module threw up numerous points. This paper reports on one particular aspect – assessment. As part of the module, students were offered choice over not only how they might be assessed, but also whether or not they should be assessed. This paper then discusses the challenges surrounding critical pedagogy in the HE classroom and considers implications for future practice.
    • The challenge of achieving transparency in undergraduate honours-level dissertation supervision

      Malcolm, Mary; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis (Routledge), 2020-06-11)
      The undergraduate honours-level dissertation is a significant component of many UK undergraduate programmes, as a key stage in the longer-term intellectual and career development of potential researchers and knowledge-workers, and also a critical contributor to immediate award outcome. This study aims to identify how dissertation supervisors balance and deliver on these expectations. Qualitative analysis of twenty interviews conducted with supervisors at two post-1992 UK universities identifies how supervisors construct supervision as a multi-stage process. Supervisors describe how their individual supervisory practices enable them to maintain initial control of the dissertation, to extend supervisee autonomy at a central stage, and to distance supervisors further from the written output at a final stage in the process. This study questions whether this approach is satisfactory either in an institutional context where the supervisor is also first marker of work they may have shaped substantially, or as a pedagogic approach to developing research skills.
    • Missing: evidence of a scholarly approach to teaching and learning with technology in higher education

      Kirkwood, Adrian; Price, Linda; Open University (Routledge, 2013-05-22)
      As technology is increasingly being used for teaching and learning in higher education, it is important to scrutinise what tangible educational gains are being attained. Are claims about technology transforming learning and teaching in higher education borne out by actual practices? This paper draws upon a critical analysis of recent research literature concerning Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). It argues that few published accounts of TEL practices show evidence of a scholarly approach to university teaching. Frequently, TEL interventions appear to be technology-led rather than responding to identified teaching and learning issues. The crucial role of teachers? differing conceptions of teaching and of the purpose of professional development activities is often ignored. We argue that developing a more scholarly approach among university teachers is more essential than providing technical training if practices are to be improved to maximise the effectiveness of TEL.
    • Widening the discourse on team-teaching in higher education

      Minett-Smith, Cathy; Davis, Carole L.; University of Bedfordshire; Solent University (Routledge, 2019-02-14)
      Team-teaching is arguably shifting from the realm of pedagogic choice to that of necessity in a complex and demanding Higher Education (HE) landscape. This research gives a voice to staff collaborating in team-teaching, considering their motivations and approach, to identify key challenges and opportunities. Results indicate that the changing landscape of HE in the UK is promoting innovative approaches to using existing team-teaching models rather than proposing new ones. The leadership dimension of the module leader role is highlighted, suggesting a need to explore and extend debates on developing academic leadership at all levels of academic employment. Consequently, the research contributes additional perspectives on existing work relating to academic leadership, the changing academic role, increasing workloads and professional teacher identity. The findings have implications for how staff are prepared and supported as practitioners in HE and the processes whereby we record and reward individuals contributions.