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Open access

Enacting inclusivity in the preparation of emerging scholars

A response to programme reform in higher education

Saran Stewart, Chayla Haynes, and Kristin Deal

Abstract

This article explores how three doctoral candidates enrolled in the discipline of Higher Education gained an understanding of social justice, equity-mindedness and diversity in the academy. Prior to the admission of these three students, two faculty members had reformed the doctoral programme to align it with the principles of inclusive pedagogy. They created a conceptual framework for the redesign of the programme's mission, curriculum and pedagogy. Echoing an article that those faculty members wrote about the programme, the authors use a collaborative autoethnographic approach to share their experiences of the programme. Just as the faculty members engaged in a fictitious dialogue with their source of inspiration, bell hooks, the authors engage in a conversation with the programme chair about their pursuit of education as the practice of freedom.

Open access

Higher education in the paradigm of speed

Student perspectives on the risks of fast-track degree completion

Laura Louise Sarauw and Simon Ryberg Madsen

Abstract

Studies often highlight how standardisation and consent are manufactured through the European Bologna Process (; ; ). This article shows how students’ conduct is still governed by multiple logics and dilemmas. The context for the article is the Bologna Process and the way it has been applied by the Danish government in the 2014 reforms that sought to fast-track the completion of student degrees. It analyses the impact of changes on students’ conduct through a series of focus group interviews with students who were confronted with the new demands to speed up their progress through their degrees. To illustrate the complexity of this standardisation, the analyses are framed within theoretical ideas of ‘risk’ () and ‘translation’ ().

Open access

Joost Beuving and Geert de Vries

Abstract

This article discusses how the teaching of qualitative research in higher education is threatened by the effects of new public management, by academic culture wars and by a growing belief in big data. The controversy over Alice Goffman's book On the Run presents one recent example of this. In an effort to counterbalance these developments, this article stresses the importance in social science curricula of ‘naturalistic inquiry’ – the artisanal core of qualitative research. Explicitly acknowledging emic viewpoints, naturalistic inquiry upholds the emancipatory ideal of making society transparent to its members. Teaching naturalistic inquiry as a craft may be the best way to assure ‘qualitative literacy’ among graduates in their various careers as socially responsible professionals.

Open access

Sam Pryke

Abstract

Socrative is an online platform that allows a teacher to put questions to students through an app on their smart phone or tablet. In existence since 2011, its use is now quite common in university teaching. But is Socrative any good? This article reviews the literature on the device and discusses my research on the use of the app, the first carried out with social science students. The secondary research findings are that students find Socrative easy to use, fun, of genuine benefit to their learning and a medium that aids active participation. Furthermore, there is evidence that it benefits attainment as testing helps memory retention. My research findings broadly concur. Also considered is how Socrative use can be extended beyond revision-style testing to introduce students to new information that challenges existing beliefs and to elicit controversial opinions and sensitive information.

Open access

Sarah B. Rodriguez

Abstract

Global health programmes have become quite popular within universities in the United States. But despite the growth in undergraduate programming in global health, the training of American undergraduates to ensure they engage ethically when conducting research in a low- or middle-income country has not followed. I teach a course in global bioethics and developed the board game described in this article as a means of engaging students in active, peer-to-peer learning about ethical challenges, questions and concerns during the research planning process, while students are working abroad in unfamiliar contexts or upon return to their home university once their data collection is completed. The game is intended for students to apply what they learned regarding global bioethical practice.

Free access

Eva Infante Mora, Davydd J. Greenwood, and Melina Ivanchikova

This special issue is devoted to a study of an action research-based reform of a US university study abroad programme to make it a genuine intercultural immersion experience. The four-year collaborative reform process combined participatory organisational redesign, the development of a comprehensive active learning approach and the teaching of intercultural competence through ethnographic immersion and community engagement in Seville, Spain. The case is an example of the development of intercultural competencies through guided behavioural change, of action research to reform higher education programmes and of active learning combined with formative and summative evaluation. The reader will learn about the experiences of the staff, faculty and mentors in the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)-Sevilla study abroad programme and those of the sponsoring US universities as they together achieved a fundamental reform of a decades-old study abroad immersion programme. This special issue has many authors because this was a collaborative action-research project with continuous group work and brainstorming. The authors’ names are placed in the sections where the authorship is clear, but, as befits a collaboration, many of the ideas are the result of the combined thinking of all the authors. Authorship of the various sections has been allocated mainly to clarify for readers the most relevant author to contact to learn more about particular dimensions of the process. The guest editors took on the editorial duties on behalf of this larger group.

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Part 1: Active learning and intercultural competence

Action research reform of a US study abroad programme in Seville, Spain

Eva Infante Mora and Davydd J. Greenwood

CASA-Sevilla is a study abroad programme for US university students with an advanced level of Spanish. In recent years, new patterns of social behaviour among students (mainly the use of technology and low-cost flights) aggravated their difficulties in establishing contacts with the local society, which often resulted in the perpetuation of stereotypes. The programme goals of cultural immersion and language improvement were therefore at risk. Through an action research and a participatory organisational development process, CASA-Sevilla stakeholders carried out a profound reform of the programme, based on the principles of active pedagogy, mentoring and community-engaged learning. This section illustrates this reform process, with its highlights and shadows.

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Eva Infante Mora, Juan Muñoz Andrade, Davydd Greenwood, Richard Feldman, Melina Ivanchikova, Jorge Cívico Gallardo, and Purificación García Saez

This section discusses how the changing students’ experiences necessitated a rethinking of the educational programme and the development of an active pedagogy. The reform used two powerful instruments: an adaptation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which allows the language coordinator to evaluate the linguistic needs of students upon arrival (and the students to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses) and to design strategies that help them improve during the semester; and the new Common Framework for Intercultural Learning, inspired by the former, which allows students to acquire and improve behavioural intercultural skills through self-managed research practices. This section describes how the language teaching reform was carried out in the programme, the role of the Common Framework for Intercultural Learning, the role of the mentors who accompany students in their learning paths throughout the semester and describes the combined use of these tools.

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Eva Infante Mora, Davydd Greenwood, Melina Ivanchikova, Carmen Castilla-Vázquez, Rafael Cid-Rodríguez, Bartolomé Miranda Díaz, and Gustavo A. Flores-Macías

This section of the account of the action research and thorough reform of the CASA-Sevilla study abroad programme describes how the courses in the fields of anthropology, history and art / art history were changed. It explains why a pedagogical reform was needed, the choices faculty members made and the difficulties they faced. Transitioning to an active pedagogy has not been an easy path for faculty. The accounts show how they integrated independent intercultural research into their classes and how they reacted to their new roles as intercultural mentors. It also includes a description of the faculty member-in-residence’s role in the programme and reflections on the reform by the faculty member who served as Cornell representative in CASA-Sevilla during the 2016–2017 academic year.

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Eva Infante Mora, Luisa Álvarez-Ossorio Piñero, and Bartolomé Miranda Díaz

This section of the comprehensive account of the action research and pedagogical reform of the CASA-Sevilla study-abroad programme concerns the introduction of community-engaged learning as a way to complement classroom instruction. Some experiential elements were already part of the programme’s previous design (homestays, cultural visits), but they needed to be structured into the curriculum, with clear learning goals and evaluation criteria. In addition, to palliate the obstacles students experienced when trying to establish connections with the local society, service-learning in community organisations was introduced into the core ‘Beyond Stereotypes’ course. This section describes the strategies that were designed to encourage active learning in the homestays, the cultural visits and the participation in community organisations, and the role these elements play in the new programme.