Welcome to the sixth volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Our thanks go to the authors of the essay, articles and commentaries, the anonymous referees who read the essay and the articles, our publisher Berghahn and the Editorial Board.
Penny Welch and Susan Wright
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.
Rowena Murray, Sheila Trahar, and Nicholas Walliman
Eileen Carnell, Jacqui MacDonald, Bet McCallum and Mary Scott, M (2008) Passion and Politics: Academics Reflect on Writing for Publication
Review by Rowena Murray
Thushari Welikala and Chris Watkins (2008) Improving Intercultural Learning Experiences in Higher Education: Responding to Cultural Scripts for Learning
Review by Sheila Trahar
Karen Smith, Malcolm Todd and Julia Waldman (2009) Doing Your Undergraduate Social Science Dissertation
Review by Nicholas Walliman
In a three-year ethnographic study of a selective U.S. liberal arts college, it was found that educational development efforts contributed not only to changes in teaching but also to cross-college collaboration and the development of a sense of community. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the college created a learning centre and new educational development activities that spoke to faculty members' needs and college interests. Following these changes, increased collegiality could be seen in collaborations among college employees, and in the educational development activities themselves, resulting in increased interest in educational development. These institutional changes were only made possible because of the college's relatively democratic governance structure, relatively high levels of faculty members' power on campus, and an environment in which ideas and practices could be challenged and re-conceptualised (at least by some employees). Ultimately, this paper argues for more attention to the interrelationships between campus collegiality, teaching and learning, and power in institutions of higher education.
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.
Katherine Nielsen and Eli Thorkelson
Ethnographers have constructed contradicting assertions, and indeed assumptions,
about the nature of learning, how it is best accomplished, and
how students internalise this learning in order to form both individualised
and collective identities. Are the rites of passage, so often described in analyses
of postgraduate socialisation – the oral examinations, the viva voce, the
departmental seminar, or graduation ceremony – the only routes available
for understanding how anthropological culture is inculcated into students?
Is the role of the supervisor as mentor pivotal in the successful completion
of a Ph.D? Or is this more of a master/apprentice relationship? Does this
proc ess maintain its relevance in a globalised field and with instant virtual
access to experts from other institutions anywhere in the world? Such issues
have been of interest to both students and faculty within the anthropology
discipline, in particular, and the social sciences more generally.
This article explores the decision by two universities, the University of Malta and the University of Maryland, College Park, U.S.A., to create a dual master's degree in transcultural counselling. The difficulties encountered by the two universities in creating a harmonised system encompassing tuition, assessment, accreditation and regulatory procedures will be discussed, as well as the complexities of learning and teaching and the opportunities for intercultural learning. The article explores the experiences of the students and academics as they grapple with two different philosophical and academic systems, but also with their own personal and professional differences as narrated, composed and received in their different contexts – interactional, historical, institutional and discursive. Through the narratives of the research participants a powerful tool for course evaluation was created.
Integrating classical theory and medieval pedagogy in modern liberal arts classes
This article explores the historical importance of argument and self-learning within the structure of liberal arts education and how these can be applied to the design of university and community college general education classes to help students develop skills in effective communication, critical thinking and self-learning. Research in classical and medieval theories of education, the liberal arts and pedagogy are used to clarify the purpose of higher education (teaching students how to learn without the aid of a teacher) and explore historical and modern pedagogies designed to achieve that purpose. A case study from an introductory history course designed based on medieval pedagogies provides examples of implementing these pedagogies, as well as assessment from three years of teaching it in both community college and university classrooms.
The case of a Swedish course for professional principals
This article considers the conditions, possibilities, and challenges of creating what is referred to here as a ‘reflective space’ within a higher education course for principals. It is informed by the findings of a qualitative research inquiry conducted in the interests of enhancing the principals’ learning and professional praxis and the university educators’ pedagogical praxis, within a Swedish course for school and preschool principals. Analysis of the findings highlighted two significant patterns. The first relates to the transformative benefits of creating a ‘reflective space’ for the principals attending the course. The second is more ambiguous and reflects their relation to and engagement with scientifically constructed knowledge. Based on these findings, the article offers considerations relevant for creating ‘reflective spaces’ as a means to enhance the quality of learning in higher education. Additionally, some guiding pedagogical implications are included in the final remarks.
Penny Welch and Susan Wright
In this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, academics from Sweden, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom offer insights into a number of features of undergraduate study – independent study projects, the development of political attitudes, the graduate attributes agenda, general education courses in global studies and the attainment gap between students with different types of entry qualifications.