The quest for the holy grail changing pedagogies and curricula
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The quest for the Holy Grail: Changing pedagogies and curricula. Dr Liz Thomas Senior Adviser for Widening Participation. Overview of Presentation. Preoccupation with pre-entry and access initiatives Literature about learning and teaching Research with students

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The quest for the Holy Grail: Changing pedagogies and curricula

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The quest for the holy grail changing pedagogies and curricula

The quest for the Holy Grail: Changing pedagogies and curricula

Dr Liz Thomas

Senior Adviser for Widening Participation


Overview of presentation

Overview of Presentation

  • Preoccupation with pre-entry and access initiatives

  • Literature about learning and teaching

  • Research with students

  • What should institutions be changing?

  • Challenges for widening participation


Focus on pre entry and admissions

Focus on pre-entry and admissions


Implications

Implications

  • Emphasis on activities that take place outside of HE institutions.

  • “Deficit” model of widening participation endorsed.

  • Lack of institutional change.

  • Rejection of a transformative model of widening participation.

  • Positions new learners as outsiders who have to break the code.


Policy drivers

Policy drivers

  • Outreach and raising aspirations – Aimhigher, regional partnerships and forums.

  • Introduction of fees in England – OFFA and DfES publicity campaign.

  • Access to HNs and FDs in FE sector.


Relevance of learning teaching

Relevance of learning & teaching

  • Learning and teaching highly influential on students’ success

  • Other factors are important, but L&T is within HEIs’ control

  • Adaptation of learning, teaching and curriculum to enable integration and reach academic potential.

  • This will benefit all students.


Lack of institutional change

Lack of institutional change

  • Lack of institutional change – less than a third of HEIs have link between L&T and WP strategies.

  • No impact on institutional cultures, rather marketing and project activity.

  • Deficit model is dominant and staff blame students rather than their own practices.


Institution don t know what how to change

Institution don’t know what/how to change

  • HEIs and staff don’t know what new student cohorts want/need.

  • Great uncertainty about what constitutes diversity teaching.

  • Lack of staff development and to support widening participation.


Student stories

Student Stories

  • Liam

  • Sean

  • Laura

    What should be changed?


What should be changed

What should be changed?

  • Induction and the first year experience

  • Diversity in the curriculum

  • Student-centred interactive learning

  • Integrated academic and pastoral support

  • Alternative assessment strategies

  • Employability


Induction and 1 st year experience

Induction and 1st year experience

  • Move from welcome week to induction about expectations and culture of HE.

  • There is growing awareness of this. HEIs are using pre-entry activities to prepare students for entry into HE, with some evidence of improved 1st year retention. Gradually introducing extended induction.


Diversity in the curriculum

Diversity in the curriculum

  • Inclusive curriculum needs to be more relevant to the lives and experiences of students, to enhance learning and prepare students for diverse society.

  • Curriculum innovations are more prevalent in post-1992 institutions. New qualifications, new courses and links between pre- and post-entry curricula.


Student centred interactive learning

Student-centred interactive learning

  • Interactive teaching promotes inclusion; staff and student engagement increases motivation, achievement and retention. E.g. learning communities, collaborative learning groups, problem-based learning.

  • Limited recognition of need to develop learning and teaching.


Integrated academic and pastoral support

Integrated academic and pastoral support

  • Separate, semi-integrated and integrated curriculum models; or pastoral, professional and integrated. Integrated, with access to additional support.

  • Academic support ranges for “drop-in” to integrated. Student services tend to be reactive.


Alternative assessment strategies

Alternative assessment strategies

  • Formative feedback and range of assessment strategies to support all students.

  • Lack of link between WP and assessment, except for disabled students. Two approaches: review course or provide additional support.


Employability

“Employability”

  • Opportunities to reflect on employment and other experiences to develop graduate attributes. Graduates from under-represented groups experience labour market disadvantage.

  • Employability and careers preparation are built into some outreach and induction activities. Employment in WP activities has a positive impact; learning captured to different extents.


Challenges for wp

Challenges for WP

  • Introduce diversity into the curriculum

  • Mainstream interactive, student-centred learning and teaching strategies

  • Integrated models of academic and pastoral support

  • Review assessment strategies

  • Supporting progression beyond higher education


For more information please contact liz thomas liz thomas@heacademy ac uk

For more information please contact:Liz [email protected]


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