Higher Education Equity Literature Database

  • A Strong Foundation: Inclusive Education at an Australian University College

    Date: 2012

    Author: Cocks, T.; Stokes, J.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Explores 'realities' and practical challenges of inclusive teaching in Foundation Studies course at UNISA - considers needs of increasingly diverse student body. In 2006-8, 55% of Foundation Studies students were from one of the six identified equity groups and 77/403 in 2011 were NESB. Detail/discussion of Foundation Studies program/composition of student body/ aims and purposes = p.845. Foundation Studies designed "as an inclusive, student-centred program in order to develop academic literacies" (p.846)
    Core Argument: NESB students encounter additional challenges related to language and cultural backgrounds, which impact on acquisition of academic literacies. UNISA have specific course for ESL students. Notes challenges that students from refugee backgrounds face: worrying about family back home, emotional distress, trauma. Also, university staff can also face challenges from supporting this cohort.

  • A study of the difficulties of cares and support in new university teachers' work

    Date: 2006

    Author: Walker, C.; Gleaves, A.; Grey, J.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: English higher education/ regional university/ new teachers and "significant fragmentation of structural, pastoral and pedagogical factors that offer opportunities for sustained relational contact with students" (p.349).
    Article set against widening participation/ diversification of the higher education system and student body (citing 1997 Kennedy report). Authors note challenges with making system-level change to better support WP/ diversity: "Whilst we may have begun to appreciate the complexity of factors related to how and why students succeed, most universities are still far from operationalizing cultural change to a degree that would make a significant difference to students in terms of retention, achievement and progression" (p.348).
    Aim:
    Theoretical frame: Links work on critical teaching (Haggis/ Northedge) with work on gender, Noddings' work on relational care, and work on capabilities (e.g. Nussbaum)
    Methodology: Small-scale qualitative project (from in-house training: 'Teaching in Higher Education') exploring new teachers' (n=14) "views on working as both teachers and researchers, whilst also managing considerable amounts of 'caring work' with a diverse body of students" (p.348); video diary and interview data; grounded theory
    Findings: Important issues for new teachers = balancing teaching and research in a WP university. Some teachers saw cultural responsiveness as a distinct component of care, and many were unsure of how to practice the care that they understood as a central component of their work. There was also a temporal dimension in this talk: how to manage the day-to-day with longer-term aspirations.
    Another important issue related to their ethos and values of being a university teacher - for those who viewed it as a vocation, this played out in concerns about impact and making a difference. For 9 of the teachers, their careers as teachers did not include caring for students' success; instead they spoke about learner autonomy.
    Participants' understandings of care differed, and the work of caring was viewed as being impacted by gender, personality and closeness in age to students.
    Authors argue that care as a form of 'pedagogic action' is a "powerful tool in both raising the level of students' expectations for their own academic progress and achievement and in demonstrating that care is an active cultural construct rather than an emotional response" (p.355) - example of class behavioural control given, which the authors argue "suggest[s] to us that many of the teachers were trying to reconcile three important
    aspects of their work: their identities as respected academics, their self-images as 'nice' people and their personas as teachers who recognize the diverse cultural context of the universities and are 'trying not to be patronising'" (p.355).
    The role of the university in facilitating care: teachers perceived a lack of coherence to support both new teachers and students - mostly due to conflicting demands on time and a perceived lack of understanding of what it means to support/ care for individual students' needs. Many of the participants "felt either exploited or isolated or both in their striving to be good at everything" (p.357), resulting in part from the university's WP mission and inflexible systems: "Timetables, module lengths, even course structures mirror tradition and convenience rather than the regularities of the current situation" (p.357). All participants were concerned with size of classes and impact of caring on other duties (including research)
    Core argument: "The very nature of the ethic of caring is to balance the subtlety and intimacy of the teacher-learner relationship with the view that having and sustaining these relationships will make students 'better' in some way; through retention, course success, reflection on the ability of the teacher to help them to achieve more and at a higher level and career progress" (p.359).
    Authors argue for more empirical work on caring in higher education, because these findings "suggest that care and support for students is often conflated with emotional commitment and remedial orientation activities, if not in the eyes of these teachers, then certainly in the eyes of the institution. Such a view of care does a disservice to all: to the students with whom the teachers work, since they are in receipt of a 'pedagogy of difference'; to the teachers at the university, since they are forced to adopt pedagogies that give lip-service to care and support because there is little time to do otherwise; to the university, since for all its concern to be visibly engaging with high quality teaching and research, it unwittingly fosters a relationship between them based not on dialogue and mutual understanding, but on competition" (p.360)

  • A temporal approach to higher education research

    Date: 2014

    Author: Ylijoki, O.

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    Context: 'Speeding up of time' (postmodern compression of time) in higher education - time tends to be taken-for-granted in higher education. When it is considered, it tends to take a simplistic, clock-time approach (taken to be commonsensical but clock-time = social and cultural construction)
    Aim: To examine what a temporal approach can offer studies of higher education; to examine "the dominant, taken-for-granted conception of time-clock time-which involves a linear, quantitative, cumulative, homogenized, abstract and decontextualized conception of time" (p.141)
    Theoretical frame: Sociocultural notions of time (Adam)
    Methodology: Essay
    Discussion: Reviews work on clock time (Adam, Whipp & Sabelis, 2002): the four Cs: creation, commodification, colonization and control of time.
    Clock time = assumed to be 'natural' but it is not - it's precision and invariability is a creation; a by-product of industrialization (but began long before for religious purposes). Natural time, in contrast, is variable, erratic and context-dependent. In higher education, "the triumph of clock time is manifest at all levels. Academic life is thoroughly structured by clock time rhythms, organizing and ordering activities, among other things, into classes, terms, funding periods and assessment cycles. Internalization of the norms of clock time belongs to the hidden curriculum of education, as at lower levels schoolchildren learn to adapt to externally formulated timetables with regular and fixed slots for arrival, lessons, breaks, eating and other school-day activities" (p.144)
    Commodification = ('time is money') - clock time is concerned with money and efficiency (production and profit). The coupling of an abstracted understanding of time with the abstraction of relative wealth into 'money' = permitted the commodification of time: "inherently and intimately linked with money, and, at the same time, an integral component of production" (p.144). Time in everyday life/ leisure has also been commodified because of its status as a 'scarce resource' - but accumulation of money and time are profoundly different - more money = infinite wealth increments; more time invested = closer to death (as a finite resource). Time as commodity = strongly linked to power: "embedded in time politics, creating and sustaining hierarchies in temporal relations" (p.145).
    Control = time=money maxim has resulted in human imposition of control over time (e.g. multitasking, efficiency drives, removal of unproductive activities). Time control = connected to the compression of time (Adam, 2004): faster time = greater production = higher profit. In higher education = translates most visibly into work of academics: "time control can be either external or self-controlled. It can refer, for instance, to external time management systems in which academics are required to report on which tasks, and for how long, they have allocated their working time, but also to internalized time control in the form of being continuously aware of the need to use time as productively and efficiently as possible" (p.146).
    Colonisation of/with = colonization with is global imposition of Western clock time; colonization of is "penetration of clock time into all levels and forms of activities" (p.146). Also, past and future also colonized "in terms of what threats, costs or benefits they hold for the present" (p.146). Future = 'what's-in-it-for-us" (Adam, 2004, 142) - future= subordinated and colonized by the present.
    Postmodernity = advent of new technologies = shifted our relationship with time (Hassan & Pursar, 2007; p.147) - Hassan (2003) makes a case for 'network time' (massively compressed clock time, which takes into account new modes that permit synchrosity and instantaneous communication). Rosa (2009, 2010) identifies 3 forms of time acceleration:
    Technological acceleration (speeding up of transportation, communication, production)
    Social change (destabilization of social structures or family/ work relations)
    Pace of life (experiences of the quickening of time)
    Rosa argues that this is partly because of secularization and less importance placed on waiting for the ever after. With the increasing speed of life, the future becomes smaller, because there is less time for contemplation and careful planning: "In modern society, the future became a fortune, a site to be conquered and made profit of by rational planning and effective measures; while, in late modern society, the future has turned out a fiction, something that is uncertain, volatile, chaotic and beyond human control" (p.148-9), leading to 'short-termism' (Hassard, 2002). Adam (2004) argues that "when the complex, simultaneous,
    instantaneous and volatile network time is combined with the linear, sequential, invariable and predictable clock time, conflicts and paradoxes emerge" (p.149) - with time becoming less predictable/ more volatile. Ironically, devices designed to facilitate control of time contribute to pressures and colonization of time. In higher education context, the alignment (conflation) of higher education policy with innovation policies "emphasizes the need to speed up the transfer of new knowledge and skills from academia to industry in order to accelerate innovation flows, and so promote the economic growth and competitiveness of firms, regions, nations and ...global markets" (p.149). Within institutions, universities need to be 'agile' so as to compete on shifting terrains and in ever-changing new 'markets', competing for rankings, resources, staff, students.
    Our relationships with time are always plural and contested - Adam (1995) argued that not all time is money' (e.g. caring does not follow timetables and has no (little) monetary value). In higher education, there are 'shadow times' (shadows of dominance of clock time) = "behind official schedules and time discipline, such as time for personal development and ripening of ideas" (p.150). This plurality necessitates a more holistic understanding of time = as timescape (Adam, 1995). Timescape encompasses multiple times: natural time, biographical time, generational time, subjective time, context-dependent and embodied time - see Adam (2000) for discussion of 4 Ts: temporality, tempo, timing, timeframe.
    In her earlier work (Ylijoki & Mantyla, 2003), the author identified 4 time perspectives in their data collected with Finnish academics: scheduled time, timeless time, contracted time and personal time. Author analyses these categories through the lens offered by Adam's 4 Ts.
    Scheduled time = as timeframe "narrow and fragmented into unconnected events and episodes" (p.153); timing = fixed and largely out of an individual's control; temporality = cyclical and linear processes, and continuity and change; tempo = hectic. "Altogether, scheduled time represents a clear manifestation of social acceleration taking place in higher education" (p.153).
    Timeless time = opposite of scheduled time; freedom to define timeframe, timing, temporality and tempo.
    Contracted time = perspective of short-term/ fixed-term workers and is "oriented towards the end of the present contract (how much time do I have left?), accompanied with a worry about the future (how/ when/ where can I get the next contract?)" p.154. Timeframe = fixed time of contract; timing = getting the timing right and being vigilant (to get the next contract); temporality = series of contracts patchworked together; tempo = fast and urgent - finishing one contract, securing another contract. "Taken together, contracted time also speaks for acceleration in academic work" (p.154).
    Personal time = comes to fore when academics look at holistic situation = "is based on an awareness of the finitude of human existence, which raises such existential questions as how to use your limited lifetime, what eventually is important, what the relationship between work and life should be, and, ultimately, how to live a
    good life" (p.154) - sacrifices are particularly important and thus "concerns a balance between time devoted to academic work and to other commitments in life" (p.154).
    Core argument: In higher education, "The basic temporal problem is that externally imposed scheduled time, often combined with the pressure of contracted time, tends to colonize timeless time and personal time" (p.155; for academic staff). Yet there are pleasures to be found in different time perspectives = resulting in temporal conflicts.
    Multiple futures require imagination, speculation and constructing various possibilities (p.155). In contrast, "Scheduled future involves a careful assessment of employment prospects, well-defined target setting and planning on how to reach goals and targets... risks and doubts inherent in the future are bracketed, and instead it is believed that, by working hard and avoiding time wasting, it is possible to control the future and achieve one's goal" (p.156) - see Clegg (2010).

  • A typology for a social justice approach to assessment: learning from universal design and culturally sustaining pedagogy

    Date: 2018

    Author: Hanesworth, P.; Bracken, S.; Elkington, S.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Set within the context of the assessment system in the UK, which is 'neither value-neutral nor culture-free' (p. 1). The authors problematise the current assessment system, which lauds 'the predominantly white, male, middle-class, Western values of objectivity and individuality' as 'markers of good work' (p. 1), while other markers of good practice in other cultures, such as subjectivity and collaboration/collectivism are viewed as 'lesser indicators of intellectualism' (p.1). The authors further argue that both values and knowledge are hierarchised in the assessment system.
    Aim: To 'propose an approach to assessment, based on social justice theory, which aims to tackle the inhibiting effects of current systemic inequities in assessment outcomes, especially as experienced among minoritised groups' (p. 3), by drawing on the concepts of Universal Design for Learning and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy. Theoretical frame: Conceptual frameworks - a) Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP): 'seeks to perpetuate and foster - to sustain - linguistic, literate, and cultural pluralism as part of the democratic project of schooling' (Paris 2012, p. 93); b) Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Focused primarily on the 'accessibility of the curriculum and assessment' (p. 5); 'Advocates three principles of curriculum design: (i) provide multiple means of representation (the what of learning); (ii) provide multiple means of action and expression (the how of learning); and (iii) provide multiple means of engagement (the why of learning)' (p. 5)
    Methodology: Essay.
    Discussion: 1)Drawing on Universal Design & Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy - Commmonality in both theories - 'a concern to open up the curriculum': UDL - by diversifying teaching and methods for evidencing learning to enhance accessibility (Fraser's distribution); CSP - by embedding diversities evident in cultural, social and student identities into the 'what and how' of teaching to improve inclusivity; 2) A schema of practice encapsulating a social justice approach to assessment & a framework for organisational change to enable a sustainable development of this approach - a) A social justice approach in action: Beginning with UDL - Development of assessment literacy would involve negotiation between students and educators to 'realise multiple means and methods of evidencing outcomes', with a necessity to alter content, processes and resources where needed, so that all learners are able to grasp 'key knowledge or skills' and display this through multiple assessment forms (p. 7); Based on its three principles: a UDL approach to developing assessment would - acknowledge 'the diversity of student knowledge, skills and prior experiences as well as their different ways of thinking and doing' (p. 8); UDL therefore makes assessment inclusive from its 'point-of-design' (p. 8); b) A social justice approach in action: cross-pollinating - a cross-pollination of UDL/CSP in assessment, with the focus of staff-student partnership in assessment design, provides 'a schema of praxis that enables actualisation of both elements of McArthur's theory: assessment that is socially just by design and assessment that aims to promote greater social justice within society as a whole' (p. 9); This schema requires the right academic dispositions & educators' willingness to confront their individual philosophies, beliefs, and dominant ideologies evident at the discipline, organisational and societal level; Key strength of a cross-pollination approach: Practitioners are encouraged to view teaching and learning from students' perspectives and consider each student's learning experience; 3)Enabling organisational change: a framework for action - A social justice approach to reviewing assessment at the organisational level comprises four 'dynamically interacting dimensions':
    1. 'Setting of an organisational vision for realising a socially just approach to assessment, and using it to inform the ways that strategic leadership will facilitate changes in existing curriculum and assessment practices.
    2. Developing avenues and mechanisms that encourage involvement by multiples stakeholders, particularly those who have traditionally been marginalised from institutional decision-making processes, including staff and students.
    3. Providing resources of finance, time, technological hardware and software for staff and students, and ensuring there is professional enhancement capacity to engage effectively with developmental changes.
    4. Through praxis, extending the culture of change to incorporate new systems and processes exemplifying minimum standards and best practices for socially just assessments both within the organisation and increasingly affecting wider society' (p. 10)
    Core argument: 'A focused and dynamic interaction between the four dimensions for organisational change, along with the overarching attributes of a cross- pollinated UDL/CSP approach to assessment, provide a proposed typology for designing and implementing assessment policies and practices that comprise one form of social justice, a form that could generate momentum towards stronger approaches to social justice that comprise the dismantling of systems of oppression' (p. 13).

  • A Value Beyond Money? Assessing the Impact of Equity Scholarships: From Access to Success

    Date: 2014

    Author: Reed, R.; Hurd, B.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Reflects on impact of scholarship program for educationally disadvantaged students at Macquarie University. Works from Universities Australia (2013) figure of 2/3 university students living under the poverty line. In 2004, federal government introduced 'Commonwealth Learning Scholarship' program to supplement the existing scholarship provision, which had previously been at the whim of individual organisations. HEPPP has also contributed to growth in scholarships offered (p.2) Macquarie offer a range of scholarships, which are dependent on students providing evidence of financial need according to UAC formula. Literature suggests that scholarships are often positioned as incentivises in the context of neoliberal, student-as-consumer universities. Financial circumstances have been found to be barriers for low SES students (according to literature - but offers critique by connecting to aspirations literature). Notes that researchers have called for more exploration of impact of financial aid.
    Theoretical frame: Nothing explicit
    Methodology: Examining retention data and conducting interviews with 12 scholarship recipients. At MQ, 525 students received equity scholarships between 2009-2012
    Findings: The scholarships not only improve retention (90% of 525 recipients of equity scholarships), the qualitative data also shows other positive effects, categorised as:
    Resources = what students were able to purchase (text books/ computers/ bills). Beyond material = intangible value of time (achieving better work-study balance; creating new opportunities for ECAs or invest in future careers), or for others the benefit "had been the security (see below) provided by the scholarship that emboldened them to take extra risks they would not otherwise have taken (such as studying abroad)", p.6.
    Access, belonging, security = scholarship provided incentive to apply for uni (changed perceptions of being able to afford HE) or made full-time study a possibility. Knowing money was coming = reassuring (p.6) - reduced sense of precarity. Students also reported feeling more like they belonged to MQ: "gesture of recognition" (p.7), which enhanced self-efficacy and belief in own potential.
    Motivation, engagement, self-efficacy = increase in motivation to study, to 'give back' and "make sure they had 'earned' the opportunity through hard work, strengthening their commitment to their studies and their contribution to student life" (p.8)
    "It's a value beyond money" (p.10)
    Core argument: The view of scholarships needs to be shifted from incentive to key institutional mechanisms. Offers model for visualising impact of drivers/ influences (rather than impact) of scholarships (according to themes above) = "'best-fit' interpretation" (p.10). Need to find better ways of assessing potential that are not based on past education/achievement.

  • A Wraparound Approach to 'Whole of Student' Issues: Education, Health, and Community Services - Review of Literature Project Report

    Themes:

    lensWraparound Models
  • A Wraparound Approach to ‘Whole of Student’ Issues: Education, Health, and Community Services

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    lensResearch Grant
    lensWraparound Models

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    The Gonski Institute for Education is pleased to announce the award of a $100,000 research grant to UNSW School of Education researchers, Associate Professor Terry Cumming and Professor Iva Strnadová. The project, titled ‘A Wraparound Approach to ‘Whole of Student’ Issues: Education, Health, and Community Services)’ will investigate an existing wrap-around model, the Ngaramadhi Space, at Green Square School.

    According to the researchers ‘There is a growing population of students with complex needs, including those with disabilities, mental health issues, and social disadvantage. When left unmet, these needs increase students’ risk of poor outcomes, including educational disengagement, precarious housing, substance misuse, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Many students with complex needs receive a variety of services both in and outside of school, and a lack of central coordination of these services results in both gaps in and overlapping supports, resulting in poor outcomes.’ 

    Education systems have attempted to address some of the issues encountered by young people with complex needs by instituting various models of integrated care, such as “wrap-around” systems. Effective wraparound models typically involve merging education with other sectors, such as health, and involve a community liaison officer, counsellor, or school nurse as the lead coordinator to manage ‘whole of child’ issues. This research project will examine existing wraparound theories and models, and as well as the wraparound support service needs of schools in regional areas. In addition to adding to knowledge in the field, an important outcome of this study will be a wraparound implementation guide. 

    This study is a pilot study for a larger proposed project that involves implementing the wraparound model in rural and remote NSW public schools. 

    The study is central to the Gonski Institute for Education’s mission; to fix the equity problem in education by providing educators, communities, policy makers and governments with the knowledge and tools to transform education through supporting students’ unique academic, social, health and wellbeing needs. 

     

  • AARE Symposium: Research Initiatives for Equity and Equality in Australian Schools

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    On Tuesday, 3 December 2019, the Gonski Institute for Education presented a research symposium at the annual Australian Association for Research in Education conference in Brisbane. 

    Titled 'Gonski Institute for Education Research Initiatives: Equity and Equality in Australian Schools', the symposium featured presentations of the Institute's current research projects, including: 

    • Fair Play for Engagement and Equity in Schools, presented by Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Amy Graham and Dr Fatemah Aminpour
    • Growing Up Digital Australia, presented by Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Amy Graham and Dr Fatemah Aminpour
    • Beliefs and Attitudes about Educational Equity in Australia, presented by Jung-Sook Lee, Jihyun Lee
    • Equitable Access to High Quality Early Childhood Education, presented by Jennifer Skattebol, Megan Blaxland, Elizabeth Adamson

    Professor Adrian Piccoli provided remarks on the policy and politics of the Gonski Institute's research initiatives, and Professor Bob Lingard acted as a discussant for the session. 

    AARE

  • Abridged too Far? Credit Transfer: Examining the Transition Process from TAFE to University,

    Date: 2013

    Author: Millman, T.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: VET to university pathways, from Diploma of Communication and Media Studies at TAFE into BA Communication and Media at University of Wollongong
    Aim: To discuss challenges, based in large part on personal communication with a colleague who teaches at TAFE
    Theoretical frame: Transformational learning (Mezirow)
    Methodology: Essay
    Findings: Common challenges discussed by participants included: adapting to different workloads and the demands of self-directed, independent learning, literacy development/ adjustment to academic literacies, unfamiliar IT systems at university, differences in pedagogical/ andragogical approaches, underestimation of time needed to complete tasks. Other challenges result from university educators not knowing which students have transitioned from VET/TAFE courses
    Core argument: Author argues that pre-university induction courses are needed for TAFE articulants.

  • Academic and Social Integration in Higher Education: a survey of satisfaction and dissatisfaction within a first-year education studies cohort at a new university

    Date: 2004

    Author: Rhodes, C.; Nevill, A.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Transition for diversified cohort of undergraduate education students (traditional and non-traditional) in an English university. Justification for article set against retention/ support/ success of non-traditional students; student (dis)satisfaction
    Aim: To explore students' satisfaction/ dissatisfaction amongst first year university (education) students
    Methodology: Focus groups with students (n=10; diverse cohort) to develop a questionnaire on student satisfaction, which was distributed during class (n=185). Q'naire had four sections: demographics, motivations for attending university, 25 facets of satisfaction, facets deemed deeply satisfying.
    Findings:
    142/185 = were in first choice university
    Most reported 'knowledge acquisition' and improving employment chances as giving intrinsic motivation to study
    Some students reported self-doubt for several reasons (see p.184)
    Most important facet determining satisfaction = 'Balance between study and personal life'
    Least important = 'friendliness of teaching staff'
    Conversely, top 8 reasons for dissatisfaction =
    "- balance between study and personal life;
    - availability of learning resources;
    - society's views of students;
    - feeling able to cope with workload;
    - physical condition of the learning environment;
    - feeling able to get financial advice;
    - variety of assessment techniques;
    - other students' views of university life" (p.187)
    Women = generally more positive than men about 'intellectual challenge'; otherwise, little difference found according to demographic differences.
    Facets most likely to retain students:
    - "Chance to attain desired career/life progress
    - Good self-confidence resulting from success
    - Stimulating/interesting course
    - Support from family/peer group
    - Good teaching
    - Quality of the learning environment
    - Desire to act as a role model for others" (p.187)
    Reasons that make students likely to drop out:
    "Debt/money worries
    Poor teaching
    Not coping with the workload
    Family/work commitments
    Lack of self-confidence resulting from failure
    Poor stimulation/interest in course
    Travel difficulties
    Alternative route to desired job/career
    Unfriendliness of other students" (p.188)
    Core argument: Although not all facets of student dis/satisfaction are under the control of universities, they can and should design interventions: "Intervention will have resonance with many institutions given that student non-completion is increasingly being viewed as an important institutional performance indicator. Whilst acknowledging that student retention must be viewed within institutions as a matter of financial expediency, it is also important to view student retention in terms of being an educational issue" (p.189).

  • Academic identities in contemporary higher education: sustaining identities that value teaching

    Date: 2019

    Author: McCune, V.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Teaching/ 'deep care' for teaching in neoliberal/ corporate university; New Public Management (NPM) = pushes external motivators (funding, citations, pay, status) as drivers for academic work, rather than teaching, caring, developing new understandings. Teaching = perfomatively measured through quantitative metrics that support competitive/ comparative logics. Teaching and research no longer understood as symbiotic - more complex and contested and enacted in diverse ways by academics, with the crucial processes of deep and caring engagement in teaching and learning diminished and undervalued. Focus on academics' identities is thus important for understanding how academics engage with teaching (and care) in the NPM context of contemporary higher education.
    Academics who identify as teachers = uncomfortable, especially in research-intensive academic environments (Skelton, 2013). Author argues that the understandings about what makes teaching meaningful for academics are underdeveloped
    Aim: To explore "how academics can sustain identities that value teaching when they work in contexts that often militate against such identities"; to "focus on the reflexive processes required in institutions to critically deconstruct the status quo such that deep care for transformative teaching can be fully enabled rather than being a position that is hard won by a minority" (p.1); to ask "how experienced academics in mainstream roles in research-intensive universities can develop and maintain identities that encompass care for teaching and strong personal values in relation to teaching" (p.3). Three RQs:
    "(1) Where academics are balancing teaching with other significant professional identities (such as researcher, clinician or leader) in what ways can they express that they deeply value teaching?
    (2) In a research-intensive context, what kinds of narratives can support experienced academics to care about teaching and have clear personal values in relation to learning and teaching?
    (3) In what ways do other aspects of academic identity support or challenge care for teaching in a research intensive context?" (p.4)
    Theoretical frame: Identities as fluid, shifting: "the dynamic interplay over time of personal narratives, values and processes of identification with diverse groups and communities" and "multifaceted, social, overlapping and potentially in tension" (p.3)
    Methodology: Interviews with academics in research-intensive university in Scotland, who had generally not undertaken professional development for teaching (n=12). Participants from range of discipline areas. Participants asked to reflect on recent experiences of teaching and assessment and to respond to questions about what they did and why. Data = analysed according to 'rigorous thematic analysis'.
    Findings: Participants' narratives illuminated preferences for particular kinds of teaching, told through: stories about their own lives that ground/ maintain care for teaching; balancing different aspects of academic identities; involves synergies and tensions between different parts of identity/ies.
    Values: personal values can help maintain engagement with teaching in challenging contexts, with specific emphasis placed on care for students as learners. There was limited focus on evaluation and metrics.
    Narratives that support these values: half of participants recounted stories that influenced values (through observing colleagues; through own experience as a student - particularly negative experiences). Role models = important for identification with teaching; also narratives of resistance/ struggle.
    Interplay between valuing teaching and other elements of academic/ professional identity/ies: when in tension, "participants often described considerable stress and talked about putting a lot of thought and effort into understanding and working with these tensions" (p.9), particularly in terms of prioritizing different activities, with research outputs pushed before teaching. Other participants described how their care for teaching was supported by other professional identities (e.g. engagement in professional societies) and viewing synergy between teaching as generating interest in field + research.
    Core argument: Institutions need to work harder to create and support "positive synergies between research and teaching, rather than driving the two further apart"... "It should be an important part of policy and strategy to work collaboratively with academics, professional services staff and students to develop processes for teaching, research, recognition and reward, that allow the different aspects of university life to be more coherent and closely focused on the wider social value of higher education. Academics should be able to foreground different aspects of their identities over time without being penalised in their career progression for these shifts" (p.11).
    Leaders at all levels need to consider their own relationship to/ values for teaching (attitudes and practices) so as to support care for teaching across the institution/ within academic identities (p.12)

  • Academic involvement in Outreach: Best practice case studies from health and languages

    Date: 2016

    Author: Harris, P.; Ridealgh, K.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Widening participation in UK; University of East Anglia, which has unique structure that includes an academic position in each Faculty to support WP students (four in total), who "have a workload allocation to
    focus solely on the development, coordination and delivery of outreach activities and establishment of strategy within their faculty" (p.74)
    Aim: To "examine the role academic colleagues can play in the Widening Participation process (predominately outreach)"... "to demonstrate how academics can help raise aspirations and support long-term intervention projects"; to examine motivations behind creation of WP-focused academic positions (abstract)
    Methodology: Description; offers to case studies (Health Science and Modern Foreign Languages)
    Findings: Case studies outline how the academic involvement helped to target outreach to disciplinary areas, working with teachers in key learning areas to target activities to their needs
    Core argument: Article outlines benefits of academic involvement in outreach planning and delivery, resulting in "specialised information, support in specific subject areas, and a long-term commitment to WP in the faculties" (p.66-7)

  • Academic mothers finding rhyme and reason

    Date: 2009

    Author: Pillay, V.

    Location: South Africa

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    Context: South African HE context. Author makes argument that "the silences with respect to mothering are deafening" (p.502) throughout the paradigmatic shifts across history - seems like an abstraction of mothering from philosophical concerns. Author argues we need to "rethink thinking" (assumptions that the mind= masculine; the body = feminine) - the academic mother = "unique duality...the perceived oppositional identities of academic and mother live within the same person" (p.502).
    Aim: To argue that balancing between mothering and academia = leaves women limited; "to show that motherhood needs to be inscribed into intellectual work if the academic mother is to find a wholeness of self" (abstract); examines the 'fragmentations of the self' (p.502)
    Theoretical frame: Derrida's work on difference; Foucault's work on subjugated knowledges; Grosz's work on feminist theory as critique and construct
    Methodology: Essay/ literature review
    Findings: Review of the literature = academic mothers largely feel compromised on both their mothering and their intellectual work; issues are stlll prevalent (see example of 2005 discussion about child care; p.504). Inclusion of emotion in rational discussions = still lacking; how to bring together without dichotomising: "The intellectual dichotomies that are perpetuated by patriarchy will serve to retain women as the other in conceptualisations of thinking. The offence here lies not only in patriarchy but in women's complicity in its survival" (p.505). Drawing on the work of Edwards (1993), the author discusses the challenges of separating the roles of student/ thinker and mother in ways that were not so problematic for work and mothering. Pillay contends that this is because women students are thinking in a male-structured and dominated space (e.g., academic objectivity; scientific rationalism). Responsibility for nurturing is also significant. Pillay scopes literature that speaks to the argument about 'how does she do it?', and the opportunities for making new connections that come through interacting with children (see p.507-8).
    Drawing on Derrida (and criticism of binaries in western thinking), Pillay argues that difference between mother and academic = relational construct; in its experiential expression - points to fluidity of difference. Thus, when women live out lives as mother/ academic, they "give credibility to the apparent difference between these two lives" (p.509) - if both are part of our relational being, why do women seek to separate motherhood from academia/intellectual work? "To reiterate, for as long as we choose to give ascendancy to the difference between mother and academic, we are unlikely to achieve a wholeness of self" (p.509); but see Wise's (1997) concerns about 'bifurcated existence'. Drawing on Foucault, Pillay argues that mothering/ mother-knowledge = subjugated as 'erudite knowledge'
    Core argument: Pillay argues that "the unity of thinking and loving is the challenge that the academic mother has to meet" (p.505). She argues that mother-scholars need to "take an intellectual leap forward...For the academic mother it means stepping out of a choreographed waltz into a vivacious salsa." (p.513).

  • Academic pedagogies, quality logics and performative universities: evaluating teaching and what students want

    Date: 2009

    Author: Blackmore, J.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Set in context whereby teaching and learning have come to attention when quality = marker of distinction in global market = "pedagogical relations have become contractualised with a focus on student satisfaction, exemplified in consumer-oriented generic evaluations of teaching" (abstract). Student satisfaction surveys = driven by accountability and measurement rather than for improvement in teaching and learning. "As higher education has become commodified, technologised and internationalised, these pressures have converged to focus on issues of quality in teaching and research as a marker of distinction" (p.857). The push towards neoliberalism/managerialism (as result of decreasing state investment and increased reliance on full-fee paying students) = makes universities "highly vulnerable" to customer satisfaction feedback. Discusses emergence of quality assurance agenda in Australian education (and the relative dearth of attention to issues of teaching and learning until relatively recently = Blackmore notes expansion of managerial roles over (quicker than) academic roles, and an inescapable part of higher education work: "While quality assurance is management-led, it quickly became the 'responsibility of everyone', as part of the processes of 'responsibilisation' of the workforce" (p.861).
    Discusses the power of 'the audit' = key strategy of accountability = student evaluations are an example. Offers examples of different kinds of accountability in higher education: process, fiscal, public, program, professional, managerial). Professional accountability (connoting with "commitments to the profession, to contribute to knowledge, to ethical research, to making a difference for others or to social justice; p.862) are less evident in discourses of/ around higher education.
    As a result of 'the audit', which "not only produce their own logics of practice and language games (Bourdieu 1990), but change the institutional practices they are monitoring, defining what constitutes quality and performance" (p.862), ambiguity and contradiction = unacceptable parts of teaching and learning (cannot ascribe into assessment criteria). Also = assumptions that teaching and learning is better if it is explicit
    Theoretical frame: Critical essay
    Methodology: Essay
    Discussion: Examines national survey instruments like Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ) = used for performance-based funding. Critiques the one-way direction of such surveys (whether quantitative or qualitative): "generic questionnaires provide little substantive feedback to academics about what needs to improve, how or why, or what works well for some students and not others. Furthermore, these evaluations become part of the web of quality assurance, performance management and promotion practices facilitated
    by new data management technologies. These require academics to respond to poor results, often regardless of whether such evaluations are statistically meaningful, and without academics having the capacity to find out what exactly it is that students 'like' or 'dislike' or why" (p.866).
    Effects of logics of quality assurance
    Quality assurance/ quality of teaching = restructured the work of universities/ academics; "External demands to perform in audits focus energies on the audit, and distract from what could lead to real improvement" (p.868).
    Funding based on targets (once measure becomes a target = ceases to be a good measure (p.868)
    Neoliberal university = pushes responsibility for meeting targets etc. on individual = "deflection of responsibility by the institution" (p.868)
    Flipside of quality = failure (naming and shaming)
    Core argument: Asks: "Is teaching and learning in a university based on professional and pedagogical principles, or the contractual arrangements of a producer-consumer relationship?" (p.867)
    "Audits for accountability rather than evaluation for improvement are the easy way to manage risk and quality" (p.869).

  • Academic tutors at the frontline of student support in a cohort of students succeeding in higher education

    Date: 2009

    Author: Walsh, C.; Larsen, C.; Parry, D.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Support networks for students in HE; the role teaching play as a key source of support and as a source of information for students re available support.
    Aim: To explore positive influences of support networks on student retention at an undergraduate level
    Methodology: Questionnaire with closed-questions; n=248 students who have continued with their study and are progressing between levels (undergraduate to honours) in Psychology, Health, Biology, Nutrition, Sociology, Sports Studies or Sport Development. Second phase included semi-structured questionnaire to obtain more information from participants.
    Findings:
    Key factors that influence students decision to continue with programs include feeling valued by the institution, feeling that the university responds well to their needs and familiarity with teaching staff (Walsh, Larsen and Parry 2009: 407). Of all the available support, students contacted tutors the most, particularly students in their first year. Ongoing informal contact between staff and students outside of class increases students satisfaction with their institution and university experience. Students were also more likely to seek advice from their peers than other sources of university support (Walsh, Larsen and Parry 2009: 419).
    Key statistics from the questionnaire include:
    _ Students in non-traditional age groups were less likely to seek support from counselling and welfare services than traditional age groups.
    _ 90% of students sought academic advice; the most likely sources of advice were academic tutors and peers on their course, first year students were particularly dependent on academic tutors regardless of age.
    _ 88% of students sought support for non-academic issues; the most frequently consulted being friends on their course and family members, regardless of demography.
    _ All other support services were used less than expected; other academic support mechanisms were accessed less frequently than expected irrespective of age or other demographic. (Taken from Walsh, Larsen and Parry 2009: 415)
    Core argument: To enhance student retention, opportunities for students to become familiarised and have meaningful informal contact with staff is needed, along with the chance for students to build strong support networks (Walsh, Larsen and Parry 2009: 420). Academic staff members must have complete knowledge of support services, and these services also need to be better integrated and more easily accessible for students.

  • Accepting employability as a purpose of higher education? Academics perceptions and practices

    Date: 2019

    Author: Sin, C.; Tavares, O.; Amaral, A.

    Location: Portugal

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    Context: As a result of the Bologna process, emphasis in Portugal has been placed on higher education students transition to the labour market, with information on the employment rates of graduates as one criterion for programme accreditation
    Aims: This study sought to understand how the Bologna process is being implemented through the teaching practices of academics.
    Methodology: The study adopted a qualitative approach. Data was gather through focus groups with close to 70 academics from 3 disciplinary areas - Arts/Design, Computer Engineering and Management. The research participants worked in different institutional types.
    Findings: Employability was variably understood as synonymous with employment, as an ability, in its short-term interpretation (training to secure employment) and in its long-term one (development of skills important in the workforce, e.g. critical thinking, autonomy, a desire for learning) (see p. 925). Differences in understanding were found between academics in different disciplines, for example, academics teaching Arts subject discussed the difficulties aligning between arts subjects and labour market needs, in contrast with Computer Engineering and Management academics.
    Core argument: Employability for all academics was a key consideration in their teaching practice, though with different ends in mind, i.e. fitting into specific employment vs introducing students to artistic practice. As a result, the findings warn against equating employability with crude indicators of employment and using it as a performance indicator (p.920).

  • Access and Barriers to Online Education for People with Disabilities

    Date: 2016

    Author: Kent, M.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: NCSEHE-funded research on accessibility of online learning for students with disabilities (SwD) = fully online only via OUA. Students registered through OUA can identify as having one or more of 8 categories: mental illness, medical impairment, mobility impairment, hearing impairment, learning disability, vision impairment, acquired brain impairment (ABI) and intellectual disability. Draws on author's own research which suggests that SwD become invisible when studying online, which can lead to unintended accessibility problems
    Aim:
    Theoretical frame: Social model of disability: "it is the constructed environment that disables people with impairments (Oliver, 1996)" - p.2. "By putting the focus on the disabling role of society, rather than an individual body that needs to be 'made well' the model allows for people with many separate impairments to come
    together to demand social change" (p.147).
    Methodology: 2 phases: 1) survey of SwDs' experience of studying online (n=356), specifically regarding accessibility of online learning and teaching platforms, students' approaches to disclosure and effectiveness of institutional accommodation. 2) interviews with 143 students (via Skype, email exchanges or phone) - expanded on survey responses
    Findings:
    - Majority of students preferred to study online
    - 44.9% survey respondents = mental illness
    - 39.2% = medical impairments
    - 25.3% = mobility impairments
    - Average age = 42 (average SwD with OUA = 36)
    - 71.4% = female, 27.5% = m, 1% = prefer not to say
    - 33% = Year 1 students
    - 85.6% of respondents had studied through OUA for 3 years or less
    - Most students in Arts and Humanities
    - 28.7% aware of type of accommodation that can be offered with relation to disability; 43.9% not aware; 27.3% = unsure
    - Most students (69.7%) had received no accommodation
    - Most students who had not advised institution of disability did not do so because they did not think it would help (51.8%)
    - Most access course via laptop;
    - 17.9% of students have had issues with accessing internet because of disability (most commonly with Blackboard, Echo 360 and university websites)
    Recommendations:
    Policy: OUA should release full breakdown of impairment categories as matter of standard policy (don't use 'other' category); change disclosure process so students don't need to repeatedly disclose and provide evidence - registration and documentation should be held centrally and students should be given option of how much is automatically propagated through systems and should be able to change settings whenever they want
    Organisations of study: 13 week study period can be exhausting for some students - more flexibility to suspend studies needs to be possible
    Promotion of disability-friendly environment: "some resources [should] be devoted to promoting this disability friendly and welcoming attitude at both OUA and its partner institutions, and also how students with disabilities can be assisted if they require it" (p.150).
    Staff training: all staff should be trained on disability issues. Also, staff should be offered training in how to use online technology/ unit design/ effective learning and teaching strategies
    Unit design: principles of universal design should be followed and trigger warnings of unit content should be considered.
    Assessment design/implementation: Alternatives to invigilated exams need to be considered; also essays can cause stress and group work assignments need to be carefully designed to allow possibility of accommodation and extension policies need to be flexible and responsive
    Core argument: Although accommodation is made on assumption of physical disabilities, the two most common forms of disability reported = mental illness and medical disability (31.6% and 27.6% respectively) - there is very little work around inclusive design in teaching and learning, particularly online learning, for these disabilities

  • Access and participation in higher education of students with disabilities: access to what:?

    Date: 2011

    Author: Ryan, J.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: People with disabilities comprise 20% of Australia's population but only account for 4% of university enrolments. In 1991, the Australian Government designated students with disabilities as one of the six equity groups that were under-represented in higher education. Despite the existence of the Australian Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (1992) and the introduction of the Disability Standards for Education in 2005, negative attitudes about students with disabilities by university lecturers continue to exist.
    Aim: To investigate and report on university staff and students' knowledge of the legislative responsibilities of universities under the DDA and their attitudes towards the inclusion of students with a disability in nursing education programs.
    Theoretical frame: Socio-political model of disability (Barnes et al., 2002; Davis, 1997): Views disability not as a 'inherent, medically defined feature of an individual but as the product of socially constructed environments and attitudes', resulting from interaction between the individual's physical/mental status and their socio-political environment.
    Methodology: Mixed methods approach - Data collection instruments: Questionnaire, focus groups (4), individual interviews (5). Participants: Undergraduate nurse students (n=330; 72% response rate), lecturers & clinical educators (placement supervisors) (n=48; 83% response rate), nurse clinicians (n=32; response rate 11%), university disability practitioners (29; response rate 83%). (3 categories of respondents: Students, nurse educators, disability officers) Age groups: Students: 18-20 years old; Staff: 21-30 years old, 30-41 years old. Data analysis: Questionnaires: Using SPSS.
    Findings: 1) Knowledge of legislation: Disability possessed superior knowledge of the DDA: disability officers had a mean correct response rate of 78%; students had a mean correct response rate of 50%; nurse educator group had a mean correct response rate of only 43%. 2) Attitudes towards entry to Bachelor of Nursing programs: Nurse educators are the 'least supportive' (p. 86) in including those with disabilities in BN programs. Data suggests a strong link between occupational status & attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities into the BN programs. 3)Experience of disability: Findings suggest having a disability, or an experience of working with a colleague with disability led to more acceptance or support of others with disabilities.
    Implications/Recommendations: 1)Universities need to address the ignorance and disregard of disability legislation and policies amongst their staff particularly in areas such as nurse education 2) Universities should be proactive in collaborating with their affiliated agencies & professional bodies in addressing deficit & uninformed views. 3) Universities should ensure that inflexible course requirements do not impede students' success their courses.
    Core argument: A lack of understanding towards legislative and institutional requirements underlies the negative attitudes regarding students with disabilities, especially in practicum-based courses such as nursing. It is therefore crucial for universities to address the ignorance and disregard of disability legislation and policies amongst their staff.