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  social	
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  undertaken	
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  week	...
Understanding	
  our	
  students	
  
Raising	
  awareness:	
  an	
  employability	
  VLE	
  	
  	
  	
  
Understanding	
  our	
  students	
  
Employment	
  and	
  the	
  social	
  sciences	
  	
  	
  	
  
Bridging	
  the	
  gap	
  
Learning	
  in	
  partnership	
  	
  	
  	
  
Does	
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What	
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interes3ng	
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Our	
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Making	
  employability	
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Our	
  employability-­‐integrated	
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Have	
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Returning	
  to	
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-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐	
  
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For	
  cri3cal	
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To	
  provide	
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  comments	
  or	
  to	
  ask	
  any	
  ques3ons,	
  please	
  c...
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Employability and the sociological imagination - Kety Faina, Gordon Heggie, Jade McCarroll, Neil McPherson,,

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Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'Employability and the sociological imagination'
The workshop examined the potential of using the ‘sociological imagination’ to raise awareness of employability by engaging students in a reflective sociological critique of the concept. It considered how a pedagogic approach can be used to support personal development and career planning in a less-obviously vocational discipline.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/1impOjY

For further details of the HEA's work on employability and global citizenship in the Social Sciences, please see: http://bit.ly/17n8Knj

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Employability and the sociological imagination - Kety Faina, Gordon Heggie, Jade McCarroll, Neil McPherson,,

  1. 1. Employability  and  the  sociological  imagina3on:   Fostering  a  cri3cal  awareness  of  employability  in  a   discipline  where  linkage  to  professional  career   development  is  less  clearly  ar3culated     Kety  Faina,  Gordon  Heggie,  Jade  McCarroll,  Neil  McPherson,     Paul  McShane,  John  Melia,  Donna  Russell,  Iqra  Tusadiq   Higher  Educa3on  Academy:  Social  Sciences  workshop  and  seminar  series  2013-­‐14.      
  2. 2. Employability     Partnership       Learner  journey         Cri3cal  thinking         Targets         Student  feedback   Student  experience   Research  mindedness         Engagement         Ac3ve  learning       Collabora3on         Crea3vity         Flexible  curriculum         Ci3zenship     Interdisciplinarity         Communica3on         Change         Student  as  producer         Curriculum  design   Performance   Inquiry-­‐based   learning         Peer  evalua3on   Resilience   Peer-­‐assisted  learning        
  3. 3. Going  round  in  circles   Searching  for  an  approach  to  employability       A  framework  for  employability     (Cole  &  Tibby,  2013:  10)   Stage  1.     Discussion  &   reflec1on   ‘Crea3ng  and   defining  a  shared   point  of  reference’   Stage  2.     Review/Mapping     What  are  we   doing/not  doing?   Stage  4.     Evaluate   What  does  success     look  like  &  how  is     it  measured?   How  can  we  enhance     prac3ce  further?   Goal:  A  defined,     cohesive  and  more     Comprehensive     approach  to     employability   Stage  3.     Ac1on     How  do  we    share    &  enhance  exis3ng   prac3ce?   How  do  we  address   ‘gaps’  in  provision?  
  4. 4. First  steps   Two  key  developments     •  Create  a  series  of  core  modules  that  reconfigured  the  rela3onship  between   teaching  and  research  through  the  introduc3on  of  ac3ve  inquiry-­‐based   learning       •  Address  an  employability  agenda  where  students  are  increasingly  viewed   ‘as  consumers  of  educa3on  and  academics’    iden3fica3ons  as  producers  of   consumer  (that  is  teaching-­‐and-­‐learning)  services’  (Boden  &  Eps3en  2006:  227)       •  Searching  for  a  solu3on  to  what  Neary  (2012)  calls  the  ‘impossible  project’    
  5. 5. Reconfiguring  the  curriculum   Engaging  students  in  research  and  inquiry                 ‘our  goal  here  is  to  move  more  curricula  in  the   direc3on  of  developing  students  as  par3cipants   in  research  and  inquiry,  so  that  they  are   producers,  not  just  consumers  of  knowledge’       (Healey  &  Jenkins  2009:  6)     (encouraging)…’the  development  of   collabora3ve  rela3ons  between  student  and   academic  for  the  produc3on  of  knowledge’     (Neary  &  Winn  2010:  137)    
  6. 6. Unpacking  the  employability  agenda        Employability  and  higher  educa3on   ‘Many  of  the  graduates  I  met  were  unprepared,  uninformed  and  lacking  in  self-­‐ awareness.  They  struggled  to  demonstrate  what  it  was  they  wanted  from  a  job   and  what  they  could  bring  to  it.     Carl  Gilleard,  Chief  Execu3ve  of  the  Associa3on  of  Graduate  Recruiters  (2006)   [Universi3es  need  to  improve]…  the  business  relevance  of  undergraduate   courses.  Business  of  course  have  a  key  role  in  stepping  up  to  work  with   universi3es  to  improve  the  relevance  of  course  content…[and]..to  see   moves  to  greater  flexibility  in  course  design  and  delivery,  leading  to  courses   that  fit  beier  with  the  needs  of  businesses…a  readiness  to  take  a  much   greater  share  of  the  market  for  training  provision.’     CBI  (2013)  Changing  the  pace:  educa3on  and  skills  survey,  pg.57      
  7. 7. Embedding  employability     ‘Embedding  employability  into  the  core  of  higher  educa3on  will  con3nue  to   be  a  key  priority  of  Government,  universi3es  and  colleges,  and  employers.   This  will  bring  both  significant  private    and  public  benefit,  demonstra3ng   higher  educa3on’s  broader  role  in  contribu3ng  to  economic  growth  as  well   as  its  vital  role  in  social  and  cultural  development.’     (HEFCE,  2011,  pg.5)         [But]…‘the  complexity  of  employability  and  the  variety  that  exists  in  curricula   in  UK  higher  educa3on  mean  that  no  single,  ideal,  prescrip3on  for  the   embedding  of  employability  can  be  provided.’     (Yorke  &  Knight  2006:  2)        
  8. 8. Our  ini3al  model    
  9. 9. Our  ini3al  mapping   Embedding  employability  in  the  social  science  curriculum       •  Mapping  of  modules  to  CIHE  competencies   and  HEA  student  employability  profiles       •  Raising  staff/students  awareness  of  the   way  in  which  employability  competencies   are  embedded  in  the  curriculum     •  Promo3ng  graduate  aiributes            
  10. 10. Our  ini3al  map    
  11. 11. Ques3oning  the  employability  agenda   ‘The  concept  of  employability…was  introduced  by  corpora3ons,  marketed   as  a  response  to  the  need  to  be  flexible  in  the  face  of  global  compe33on…     Companies…could  no  longer  offer  job  security  to  employees  and   introduced  'employability'  instead,  as  the  new  psychological  contract.  As   such,  it  forms  part  of  'the  new  spirit  of  capitalism’       (Chertkovskaya,  2013,  non-­‐paginated)    
  12. 12. Targets,  targets,  targets       •  By  the  end  of  AY  14/15,  UWS  will  achieve  a   graduate-­‐level  employment  rate  of  65%  within   the  annual  DLHE  survey    2013-­‐14  SFC-­‐UWS  Outcome  Agreement         •  By  the  end  of  AY  14/15,  UWS  will  achieve  a   minimum  graduate-­‐level  employment  rate  of   75%  for  our  graduates  within  3  years  of   gradua3on’    2013-­‐14  SFC-­‐UWS  Outcome  Agreement     •  The  propor3on  of  graduate  professional/ managerial  employment  will  match  (within  2%)  or   exceed  average  performance  of  post  1992  Scoqsh   HEI  in  each  subject  area’     UWS  LTAS  V1.1,  5.4    
  13. 13. But  employability…     •  ‘Employability…is  about  learning  and  the  emphasis  is  less  on  ‘employ’  and   more  on  ‘ability’.  In  essence,  the  emphasis  is  on  developing  cri3cal,   reflec3ve    abili3es,  with  a  view  to  empowering  and  enhancing  the  learner.’        (Harvey,  quoted  in  Pegg,  2012:  4)       •  ‘Is  clearly  not  the  same  as  graduate  employment  rates’     (Knight  &  Yorke  2004:  9)     •  Nor  is  it…  ‘something  that  can  be  quan3fied  by  any  single  measure.   Des3na3ons  of  Leavers  from  Higher  Educa3on  (DLHE)  survey  is  a  measure   of  employment  not  employability’     (Cole  &  Tibby  2013:  6)          
  14. 14. The  employability  agenda     Ques3oning  the  role  of  the  University     ‘[Employability]  is  now  claiming  3me  on  syllabi  at  the  expense  of  academic   subjects  and  inculca3ng  market  values  at  the  expense  of  free  and  cri3cal   thinking’                          (Sarson,  2013,  non-­‐paginated)       ‘the  public  and  democra3c  character  of  the  university  is  undermined,  while                               humani3es  and  social  sciences  which,  by  their  very  nature,  cannot  airact   market  interest  are  marginalized’       (Panayota  &  Grollios,  2012:  317).       Ques3oning  the  role  of  social  science    
  15. 15. How  do  we  square  the  circle?   Key  issues  from  Tibby  (2012)         •  Disparity  between  students’  percep3on  of   employability  and  those  of  employers   •  Many  students  are  not  engaged  with   employability   •  Employers  and  students  value  work-­‐experience   but  barriers  exist  in  provision  and  access  
  16. 16. Understanding  what  employers  want     Most  important  factors  considered  when  recrui3ng  graduates     Source:  CBI.  Learning  to  Grow  -­‐  Educa3on  and  Skills  Survey  2012    
  17. 17. Understanding  our  students     Which  of  the  the  following  do  you  think  are  the  most  important  factors   employers  consider  when  recrui1ng  graduates  (%)   0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90   100   Language   Degree  classifica3on   Work  experience   Degree  subject   Employability  skills   Hamilton   Paisley  
  18. 18. Understanding  our  students     0   20   40   60   80   Yes   No   Do  you  have  a  par1cular  job/career  path  in  mind   aHer  you  finish  your  studies?  (%)   Hamilton   Paisley  
  19. 19. Understanding  our  students     Survey  of  L7  social  science  students  undertaken  in  week  1    
  20. 20. Understanding  our  students   Raising  awareness:  an  employability  VLE        
  21. 21. Understanding  our  students   Employment  and  the  social  sciences        
  22. 22. Bridging  the  gap   Learning  in  partnership        
  23. 23. Does  it  work?   What  students  say           The  tasks    have  been   interes3ng  because  they  gave   an  actual  taste  of  what  a   research  is  like,  on  all  its   levels,  from  organisa3on  to   prac3cal  issues  such  as   funding  or  ethical  approval   …has  given  a  good   insight  into  real  life   problems  and   opportuni3es   The  research/inquiry   based  learning  focus  of   the  module  has  been   great  and  grown  my   confidence  in  rela3on  to   independent  study.     …led  to  me  becoming   more  aware  as  to  what   employability  skills  I  have   been  developing  whilst   learning  in  other  modules    …made  me  reflect  on  my   learning  journey  so  far,  and  I  now   feel  that  it's  easier  to  make   connec3ons  between  skills   developed  by  doing  different   types  of  assessments  and  the   skills  sought  out  by  employers  
  24. 24. Our  new  model      
  25. 25. Making  employability  ‘real’     Our  employability-­‐integrated  assessment  map  
  26. 26. Have  we  squared  the  circle?   Returning  to  Tibby  (2012)     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   Disparity  between  students’  percep3on  of  employability  and   those  of  employers     Our  solu3on:  embed  in  the  curriculum  through  employability-­‐ integrated  assessment  and  partnership  learning     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   Many  students  are  not  engaged  with  employability   Our  solu3on:  embed  in  the  curriculum  through  employability-­‐ integrated  assessment  and  partnership  learning   -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   Employers  and  students  value  work-­‐experience  but  barriers   exist  in  provision  and  access     Is  WBL  necessary?  Can  WRL  be  fully  embedded  in  the  curriculum?    
  27. 27. For  cri3cal  friends   To  provide  feedback,  comments  or  to  ask  any  ques3ons,  please  contact:     Dr  Gordon  Heggie   Lecturer  in  Social  Sciences   University  of  the  West  of  Scotland   gordon.heggie2@uws.ac.uk     Dr  Neil  McPherson   Lecturer  in  Social  Sciences   University  of  the  West  of  Scotland   neil.mcpherson@uws.ac.uk    

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