When engaged in doctoral research (1972) on urban squatter settlements in the Philippines, Feldman’s approach was guided by the pedagogy of Paulo Freire (2005[orig.1970]), which gratefully steered his behaviour away from the typical ‘Ugly American’ abroad in the world at the time (during the Vietnam War). Feldman became aware of the notions of ‘teacher-student’ and of ‘student-teacher’ primarily through his discussions with two Filipino doctors, Jess and Trini de la Paz (a husband and wife team), who organised a health education and training programme for volunteer participants from 12 squatter settlements in Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao. They invited him to serve as a social science consultant for their project. They explained that their approach to health education and training was grounded in, and would always adhere to, Freire’s insistence that oppressed people should be viewed as teachers for anyone engaging in their instruction or assistance, requiring that their teachers also become their students in understanding or assisting their lives.
Transformation of Graduate Education in Applied Anthropology in the U.S.: Learning and Teaching Policy Studies
Kerry D. Feldman and Lisa Henry
Transforming conflict resolution education: applying anthropology alongside your students
This article describes the role graduate students can play in transforming their education in the emergent field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, as occurs at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), at George Mason University, Washington, DC. It also unpacks how anthropology plays a role in the education of these students at the Master's and Doctoral levels. The primary contribution of anthropology to the conflict resolution curriculum has been conceptual, around the notion of culture. Most of our MS graduates, and many PhDs, work in government or NGOs specialising in development, human rights or conflict resolution, coming from diverse backgrounds with mature life experiences and without prior training in anthropology. Only four of our 21 faculty are anthropologists. This article discusses why these diverse graduate students and their anthropological faculty viewed the traditional foundations of the field of conflict analysis and resolution as inadequate, and why it required an infusion of culture theory and understanding into their training and education.
Bologna in America: The Spellings Commission and neo-liberal higher education policy
Davydd J. Greenwood
This article summarises/analyses the higher education reforms proposed by the 'Spellings Commission' in the United States on quality assurance and accountability, and draws attention to the links I see between these reform proposals and the Bologna Process. I trace a brief history of the Spellings Commission and analyse it in order to produce questions for discussion about the 'parallel' processes of reform in higher education in the U.S. and Europe.
Alan Harding, Alan Scott, Stephan Laske & Christian Burtscher (eds) (2007) Bright Satanic Mills: Universities, Regional Development and the Knowledge Economy
Review by Paul Benneworth
Christophe Charle & Charles Soulié (eds) (2007) Les ravages de la ‘modernisation’ universitaire en Europe
Review by Annika Rabo
Paul Ramsden (1998) Learning to Lead in Higher Education
Review by Melissa Shaw
Conformity or confusion? Changing higher education grading scales as a part of the Bologna Process
the cases of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
Bettina Dahl, Eirik Lien, and Åsa Lindberg-Sand
The aim of the Bologna Process is to make higher education systems across Europe more transparent. It is crucial for this purpose that confusion concerning the characteristics of the systems should be replaced by conformity. But, as we will show, conformity brought about at one level may create confusion at another. The curricular aspect of the Bologna Process focuses on a shift to outcome-based and student-centred programmes. Syllabi should now be based on intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and should be adjusted to general level descriptors for qualifications. However, the Bologna documents give no explicit recommendations about the use of grading scales. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the reforms of higher education induced by the Bologna process included a change of grading scales and referred to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Through these three case studies, we describe and analyse the political process and argumentation underpinning the decisions to change the grading scales in each country. This includes the problems, both experienced and perceived, with the old grading scales, the various national assessment traditions and the new grading scales. The purpose of the change was not the same in each country, but the ongoing adaptation to a seven-step grading scale was thought to ease the international recognition of the national grades, making mobility easier. Though a seven-step grading scale was implemented in both Danish and Norwegian higher education and also by an increasing number of Swedish higher education institutions, the translation of grades only works on a superficial level. The grading scales designed are fundamentally different as classification systems; they attach different numerical values to grades with identical labels and they relate differently to norm- and standards-referenced judgements of learning outcomes. The information condensed in similar grades from the three countries cannot be equated. The vision of simple transparency turns out to be an illusion.
Penny Welch and Susan Wright
Welcome to the first issue of the second volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Our thanks go to the authors of articles and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher Berghahn and the Editorial Board.
Using critical pedagogies from adult education to inspire and challenge higher education students
This interdisciplinary paper is about applying Adult Education methods of learning and teaching to higher education. I argue that higher education students need to be stimulated via interactive methods that improve their motivation and lead them to question the value system/s that exist around them. A Freirean approach as used in the teaching of Adult Literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) was applied to a group of 'elite' students at the University of Birmingham who were taking a language foundation course. As a sociolinguist and ESOL practitioner from a black perspective, I argue that the understanding of concepts of language and racism, imperialism and social class can best be facilitated using such an approach. Taking groups of students through this learning journey is challenging for higher education practitioners and the results add a relatively new dimension to the collective reflection on learning and teaching in higher education today.
Mark Sandle, Gary Taylor, and Penny Welch
Geoff Timmins, Keith Vernon and Christine Kinealy (2005) Teaching and Learning History Review by Mark Sandle
Lorraine McIlrath and Iain Mac Labhrainn (eds) (2007) Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives Review by Gary Taylor
Joanna Bull and Colleen McKenna (2004) Blueprint for Computer-Assisted Assessment Review by Penny Welch
Peter Redman (2006) Good Essay Writing Review by Penny Welch
Penny Welch and Wright Susan
Welcome to the third issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. This issue completes the 2008 volume. Our thanks go to the authors of articles and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher, Berghahn, and the editorial board.
A European Computer Driving Licence
integrating computer literacy in the new Social Work degree
'Informacy', the learning of information technology skills, is now a key element of all Social Work curricula in the U.K. following the General Social Care Council's accreditation requirements. These stipulate that all undergraduates acquire computer literacy skills to the level of the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) or its equivalence and require that all accredited Social Work courses assess students to ensure that this is achieved. However, many universities do not have the support of information technology departments in order to ensure that their students are taught how to use a computer. Nor do they have access to interactive web-based packages that assist the students in teaching themselves IT skills to the high levels required by the European Computer Driving Licence. The research suggests that an integrated e-learning teaching and assessment strategy can help to promote computer literacy among Social Work students. This paper explores some of the challenges that arise from integrating e-learning into the teaching and assessment of a Social Work degree, based on the experience of the Social Work Department at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (now Bucks New University).