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Student engagement in the management of accelerated change

Anthropological reflections on ‘Project 2012’ and The Offer

Anselma Gallinat

The prospect of the increase in tuition fees in England from 2012 pulled learning and teaching into the limelight as universities sought to safeguard student recruitment and league table positions in an envisioned new era of increased market competition. As each institution sought to market itself to potential students with a specific learning and teaching ‘offer’, local subject areas faced increasing demands for quality monitoring as well as a host of initiatives and changes to their existing provision. The acceleration of change brought to the fore structures and dynamics that are usually difficult to detect in the routines of everyday life. This article focuses on one U.K. university and explores how the government for accelerated change aimed to reshape learning and teaching practices in preparation for the new times, but in fact served to undermine the visions that had fuelled this change.

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Karima Kadi-Hanifi

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.

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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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David P. Thomas

This article explores the use of critical pedagogy in addressing the important issue of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) in the postsecondary context. I argue that tools of critical pedagogy – in this case student-centred learning and sharing power in the classroom – provide a productive avenue for post-secondary students to engage with SRI. In addition, analysing current debates and trends in SRI offers an excellent opportunity to encourage active, engaged, student-centred learning, with the ultimate goal of producing citizens who are capable of questioning the world around them. The article presents a case study of a course on SRI at a small liberal arts university in Canada to illustrate the potential of critically teaching and learning about SRI.

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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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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.

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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. Important social aspects of contemporary higher education are addressed in this issue by authors from a number of countries and social science disciplines. These range from learning and teaching concepts of capitalism and alienation, to the impacts of computerised university administration, the systematic ways certain categories of students fall through cracks in the academic pipeline, and how to reintroduce social activism into a ‘professionalised’ curriculum and teach social justice through international study visits.

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Elsa Rodeck, Maki Kimura and Patrick Ainley

Rebekah Nathan (2005) My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student Review by Elsa Rodeck

Steve Spencer and Malcolm Todd (eds) (2006) Reflections on Practice: Teaching ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Further and Higher Education Review by Maki Kimura

James Avis (2007) Education, Policy and Social Justice, Learning and Skills Review by Patrick Ainley

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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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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