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Active learning in criminal justice

The benefits of student investigation of wrongful convictions in a higher education setting

Jill Dealey

Abstract

Active learning, with students engaging in research or activities within the community, is a favoured approach in contemporary higher education. To support this approach, the Criminology and Forensic Studies programmes at the University of Winchester have included student research into miscarriages of justice. The students interrogate evidence from a criminal trial to attempt to establish if there has been a wrongful conviction. This article discusses the importance of this work for students of Criminology. It considers the contribution to the learning experience of the range of opportunities available to undergraduate and postgraduate students and evaluates the potential impact on curriculum and learning development during the degree programme, in addition to the benefits for future employment.

Open access

Anxiety and learning

Cultural polarisation in social science courses

Jose Leonardo Santos

Abstract

University social science instructors sometimes encounter student silence or quarrels around culturally contentious subjects. In a culture that promotes distrust around the issues they teach, how do professors perceive and cope with such difficulties? Preliminary research using qualitative interviews with teachers from two different US universities explores problems they encounter and strategies they employ in the face of student struggles with nuance and a phenomenon referred to here as polarisation anxiety. Professors strategise how to teach the complexity of phenomenon some students have been culturally predisposed to oversimplify, polarise or remain silent about.

Open access

Barbara Robertson and Mark J. Flowers

Abstract

The course materials students are expected to utilise in online instruction vary. Studies have shown that students tend to enjoy online courses with lecture videos more than those without, but few studies have measured the impact of lecture videos on student outcomes. Do lecture videos increase student understanding and retention, thus improving student outcomes? Students were provided with one or more study aids, video lecture, PowerPoint or instructor-created notes for learning about the role of the Electoral College in US presidential elections. We assessed student retention and understanding of the Electoral College with a quiz as an indicator of student outcomes. We found that the video lecture in combination with a PowerPoint was the most effective study aid.

Open access

Shih-Hsiung Liu

Abstract

This article aims to determine the feasibility of a course on education-related topics based on dialogue-based peer learning (DBPL). According to the literature, the procedures of DBPL are as follows: (1) read texts, (2) formulate individual opinions, (3) express individual opinions in turns, (4) ask and respond to questions, (5) adjust personal opinions. A quantitative survey, an open-ended question on learning perceptions and four paper-and-pencil tests on educational topics were employed to determine the effectiveness of the course for participants’ learning. Most of the participants performed well in the tests and perceived the benefits of the DBPL method for comprehension and for critical thinking on educational topics. The first three steps in the procedure outlined above were identified as key to the results of the study.

Open access

Penny Welch and Susan Wright

In this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, authors from Denmark, the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom analyse serendipity in anthropology teaching, the use of lecture videos in political science, peer dialogue in education studies, polarisation anxiety among social science students and active learning in criminology.

Free access

Michael R. M. Ward

Free access

Claudia Mitchell

Open access

Minestrone Stories

Teaching anthropology through serendipitous cultural exchanges

Regnar Kristensen

Abstract

Serendipity should not be restricted to cutting-edge science and research alone. A proactive approach to the unexpected can also strengthen classes in anthropology and the humanities. But how can you teach if classes are influenced by accidental arrangements and discoveries not sought or considered? I shall tap into two projects of teaching-by-serendipity through indirect cultural exchanges. The two projects in question were named Minestrone Stories, referring to the Italian minestrone soup, usually made of the vegetables available and thereby providing each village in Italy with its own variant. However, the two ‘Minestrone soups’ in question included more ingredients. The teaching-by-serendipity projects targeted what students, teachers and citizens in confined areas of Copenhagen had available, inciting them to indirectly exchange vegetables, songs, services and stories with each other, thus stirring them together. In this article, I reflect on how this stirring provoked an unusual teaching experience and moments of unexpected learning.

Free access

Personal, Powerful, Political

Activist Networks by, for, and with Girls and Young Women

Catherine Vanner and Anuradha Dugal

Free access

Reading Raewyn

Reflections on a Lifelong Inspiration

Sara Delamont

It has been 20 years since Raewyn Connell published The Men and the Boys (2000a), which can be seen as the foundational text of boyhood studies. This journal is a good place to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of that book, and there are two special issues coming in the winter of 2020 and spring of 2021. Connell's work has been part of my academic thinking about education and gender for 47 years. I have chosen to situate my appreciation for The Men and the Boys in the context of that 47-year time frame. The Men and the Boys, which we are celebrating in the next issue of Boyhood Studies, came late in my engagement with Connell's work. It is important to understand that Connell's work has spanned three scholarly developments: the rise of women's studies, men's studies, and boyhood studies.