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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to this issue 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.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to Volume 4 of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. LATISS has been gradually widening its focus from its point of origin in the U.K. and this issue is truly international with material from Latin America, U.S.A, Sweden and England. LATISS’s approach – to study and reflect on the detail of teaching and learning practices in contexts of institutional change and national and international policies – is also well exemplified by the articles in this issue. For example, three of the articles explore issues of ‘race’ and ethnicity in connection with programme design, institutional politics and classroom relations respectively and in very different historical and policy contexts. Two articles also connect to topics on which LATISS has recently published special issues: on gender in higher education and on using the university as a site to critically explore the meaning and operation of neoliberalism.

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Boone Shear and Susan Brin Hyatt

The aim of this Special Issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences is to analyse the impacts of neoliberal restructuring on higher education and to explore ways of raising students’ critical awareness of these changes in their own environment. This Special Issue developed out of a symposium that was held at the University of Massachusetts in Spring 2008. Both Susan B. Hyatt and Vincent Lyon-Callo presented earlier drafts of their articles on that occasion, as did Dana-Ain Davis, whose article will appear in a future issue of LATISS. Shear and Zontine were the primary organisers of the symposium, along with other students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts, and in their article, they reflect on the collaborative, yearlong reading group project on neoliberalism from which the symposium emerged. We invited John Clarke to join us in writing for this issue to provide an international perspective on these issues as they are currently playing out in the U.K.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to the first issue of the third volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences.

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Jeffrey L. Bernstein

What are we in higher education to make of the recent calls for citizenship education to play a larger role in the academy? As Matt Hartley’s paper in this issue of Learning and Teaching suggests, colleges and universities in the United States have been paying increased attention to educating for citizenship in recent decades; Bob Simpson’s concluding commentary makes similar arguments about increased expectations for citizenship education in Europe. As our institutions of higher learning confront economic pressures, increased competition (including from for-profit entities) and calls for accountability through meaningful assessments of student learning, they will also face increased pressure to graduate not just educated individuals, but also individuals who are connected, as citizens, to the local, national and transnational world in which they live.

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Kerry D. Feldman and Lisa Henry

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.

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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.

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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.

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‘Why ever are the Europeans doing this to themselves’ asked an American professor recently. He was referring to the Bologna Process, whereby 46 signatory European Ministers offered voluntarily to bring their higher education systems into alignment over a period of 10 years, ending in 2010. This special issue of LATISS looks at how the Bologna process came about, and how it works as a new form of governance in Europe, which creates conformity through peer pressure. We then examine two elements of the Bologna process in detail – the standardised degree cycle and the qualifications frameworks. Hopefully, this special issue1 goes some way to answering the American colleague’s question and, at the same time, contributes to a critical assessment of the Bologna process as it nears its target date for completion.

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David Mills

We hear ever more about the internationalisation of higher education. As U.K. universities become increasingly exposed to the vagaries of international student demand, administrators are scrambling to develop ‘internationalisation’ strategies, whilst academics are being encouraged to incorporate ‘international perspectives’ into their curricula. Even the U.K.’s Centre for Learning and Teaching Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) has a strategic aim to promote ‘best practice in the internationalisation of the student learning experience’. It sounds impressive, but what does it mean in practice? Internationalisation has become a buzzword that everyone can use without having to agree on what they mean. The word’s descriptive malleability is its analytical downfall.