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Minestrone Stories

Teaching anthropology through serendipitous cultural exchanges

Regnar Kristensen

The teaching experiment I shall reflect upon grew out of a joint effort to try and create some events where teachers, students and local citizens in Copenhagen who did not know each other were able to meet and discover things unknown to them by

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Joost Beuving and Geert de Vries

This article aims to share a private worry with a larger audience: the erosion of teaching qualitative social research in higher education. Our worry originates in our own experience as social scientists working and teaching at Dutch universities

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Ethan Lowenstein

This article seeks to build on current and emerging conceptions of teacher expertise as they relate to education for civic engagement and social awareness in the university classroom context. I explore the notion of teaching tensions between vulnerability and authority, authenticity and distance, safety and challenge, disclosure and neutrality, and social transformation as against individual agency. I argue that these tensions and the teacher decision-making processes involved in their navigation can add to university instructors' capacity to reflect on and evaluate curriculum design decisions when aiming to impact student social and civic identity development. I examine teaching tensions and their dynamic interaction through a self-study of my own teaching and of involving the students in a structured academic service-learning partnership with school pupils in a social studies methods course for pre-service teachers in the United States.

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Jonathan Gorry

A wide variety of British universities are expanding efforts to attract international students. This article argues that higher education's implicit claim to all-inclusive 'universality' may hereby be challenged by subsequent issues of cultural particularity. Here I set to conceptualise possible differences in the learning culture of Asian international students through a Confucian-Socratic framework. The Socratic method, our archetypal Occidental model, is traditionally seen as an experiential learner-centred pedagogy that values creativity and intellectual independence. But the Confucian approach, the archetypal Oriental exemplar, is normally presented as a didactic teaching-centred pedagogy with greater emphasis on strategic, directed thinking. I conclude that refl ection in these ways may lead to a culturally sensitive form of education and also help identify the epistemological and ontological dimensions that enhance a more flexible approach to teaching and learning.

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Ellen Bal, Erella Grassiani, and Kate Kirk

This article is based on our own experiences and that of several of our colleagues teaching social and cultural anthropology in different Dutch institutions for higher learning. We focus in particular on teaching and learning in two small liberal arts and science (LAS) colleges, where anthropology makes up part of the social science curriculum and/or is part of the core curriculum. The data collected from our own critical reflections developed during informal discussion and from formal interviews with colleagues, together with literature on recent changes in academia, leads us to argue that neoliberal individualism, shaped by management tactics that constantly measure individual performance and output, is making academia an increasingly insecure place in which to work and study. The consequences of this insecurity include increasing mental health problems among both students and staff, intensifying competition at the expense of collegiality and collaboration and an overall decrease in the quality of academic jobs and teaching. Although the discipline of anthropology can help us better understand our own conditions, the personalisation of problems and the focus on success obscure the anthropological lens, which looks at social and cultural structures of power and depends on critical reflexivity.

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Paulina Mihailova

The article investigates how university lecturers taking part in the compulsory teacher training at Stockholm University (SU) conceive of the effects of standardised and formalised training on their teaching. The study explores the emotions and responses evoked among academics when everyone is required to embrace the same pedagogic philosophy of constructive alignment (Biggs 2003), adopt the language of learning outcomes and assign the same standards to diverse academic practices. The article attempts to shed light on different conceptions of the quality of teaching and learning in higher education and the interplay between the lecturers' values of academic freedom, collegiality and disciplinary expertise and the university leadership's values of efficiency, accountability and measurability of performance. The article considers how these conceptions coexist and are negotiated within the university as an organisation.

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Sam Pryke

type. It is likely that its predominant use is in high schools in the United States, but it is now a fairly common aid in university level teaching internationally. But is Socrative effective? In as much as Socrative simply provides the teacher with a

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Jennifer Dodge, Richard Holtzman, Merlijn van Hulst, and Dvora Yanow

interpretive research hardly touches upon the question of whether an interpretive perspective lends itself to – or even demands – a particular style of teaching. This question lay at the heart of a roundtable discussion we organised at the 9th annual

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Annika Strauss

Anthropological fieldwork is a sensual and transformative experience. Being in the field and doing ethnography means an immersion that encompasses the ethnographer’s whole person and self. In contrast, teaching methods and presentation modes in

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Redefining Censorship

Lessons Learned from Teaching The Merchant of Venice in Israel

Esther B. Schupak

study of revered canonical works. However, after completing a research project that entailed teaching the play to two groups of Israeli students, I am forced to concede that those who oppose teaching it may have a cogent argument, and this play – even