Hea soc sci_final_dh_parasess2_canada
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Listening to the student voice: using BNIM to explore the first year university student experience

Listening to the student voice: using BNIM to explore the first year university student experience

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  • NB Give paper of selected sentences but include sections of theory in the main slides? While this survivalist approach appears to be personal justification of the way in which he has managed to progress, the literature in this area of work suggests that such self confidence may in fact be derived from low self esteem and the self assured manner of the student may be a facade (de Beer, Smith & Jansen 2009)
  • NB Give paper of selected sentences but include sections of theory in the main slides? While this survivalist approach appears to be personal justification of the way in which he has managed to progress, the literature in this area of work suggests that such self confidence may in fact be derived from low self esteem and the self assured manner of the student may be a facade (de Beer, Smith & Jansen 2009)

Hea soc sci_final_dh_parasess2_canada Hea soc sci_final_dh_parasess2_canada Presentation Transcript

  • Listening to the student voice: using biographic narrative interpretative method to explore the first year student experience Debbie Holley Anglia Ruskin University1
  • Background to Project  Sense of Belonging at: – Queen Mary University – London Metropolitan University – University of Westminster  One aspect of the social context of special relevance to education is students’ sense of belonging or psychological membership  Developing a Sense of Belonging is a particular challenge for inner city universities with their diverse student body (Stuart, Lido & Morgan 2009)2
  • Session Today: An introduction to our project & BNIM Exercise Extract from one interview ‘The Boxer’ Project website http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/lmbs/research/ceber/research-projects/students-s heavenawaits.wordpress.com
  •  “The Fighter” I would love to go against anything “…a rebellious person but anyone says.”  “Anyone can argue me down, I will argue down, I won’t stop, I will never give up. And that’s what I love…I was there as well in the front row, I never back down, trust me.”  “…so I proved them wrong…”; “...I’ve proved everyone wrong and that’s what I loved, that’s it.”  “Like when I’m with my family I don’t feel like I belong there because everyone’s just screaming and they’re crazy…there are people who are against you and they’re really rebellious, I don’t feel like I’m accepted there as well.”  “...it’s different for me” and “it really felt like yes, social class is showing here big time.”  “It’s like they give me an active role and they welcome me warmly and they don’t make me feel like I’m an outsider.”4
  • Research shows that among undergraduate students, Sense of Belonging leads to... Linked to lecturers caring Greater involvement in campus organisation Lower level of depression/loneliness among African American and Caucasian students Less racial climate among Latino students Students at a disadvantage may benefit more from a sense of belonging than other groups (Anderman & Freeman 2004, Hurtado & Carter 1997, Mounts 2004)5
  • Research Methodology (a mixed methods study)  Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) (Goodenow 1993) Questionnaire to 1,300 first-year, first- semester students  Selected interviews qualitative tradition of ‘cultural stories’ (cf Miller & Glassner 1997) BNIM interviews – several undertaken, three per institution comprise case studies  Areas of interest: students’ narration of their experiences of belonging6
  • Alternative terms for the main researchparadigms Positivistic paradigm  Phenomenological Quantitative paradigm Objectivist  Qualitative Scientific /  Humanistic Experimentalist  Subjectivist Traditionalist  Interpretivist* Figure 3.1 (Collis & Hussey 2003:47) Positivistic Interpretivist
  • Gestalt theory Max Werth  Traditional psychology of time, both US & eimer (1880-1943 German – to do with structure of mind and move ) towards analysis of contents of consciousness (eg mosiac of tiny patches of colour, put these together to make up scene we observe)  Wertheimer challenged this view - we see a scene as a meaningful whole – applied to learning – parts are dynamically interrelated in such a way the whole cannot be inferred from the parts taken separately  Most important contribution of gestalt theory to understanding of learning is to the study of insight (cf ‘Threshold concepts) Other theorists: Koffka;Kohler;  For Contrast - see work of Guthrie  Critique – remains European viewpoint, not popular with US as various forms of behaviourism dominant
  • BNIM is not a clinical, scientific approachFor interviewing:‘adopting an interview strategy that minimises (for as long as possible) the interviewer’s concerns (systems of values and significance) to allow the fullest possible expression of the concerns, the systems of value and significance , the life-world of the interviewee” (Wengraf, 2001:69)This process helps to minimise power relationships and brings to the forefront areas of the interview where ‘issue’ occur
  • Exercise: In pairs – one is interviewer (A) other is interviewee (B)Interviewer – please do not interrupt! (A) to ask (B) reason why they are here in class today (2 minutes) Then swap – (B) now interviewer – ask (A) same question 2 minutes How does it feel to be (a) or (b)?
  • SQUIN (Single Question aimed at Inducing Narrative) “I am interested in your reasons for coming to this event. What made you decide to come here today? Start wherever you like….etc. I will just listen. I won’t interrupt…”11
  • Coding the interview: (Wengraf) D= Description – timeless, no events taking place A= Argumentation – develop argument, theorising, position taking…usually with person’s “self” R= Reporting – objective events of a life – first I did this…then I did that… N= Narrative – telling of a story E= Evaluation – the moral of my story…and so you see….xyz came about… Data analysis12
  • ‘The Boxer’ Biopic ‘The Boxer’ is a young Asian man who self selected for interview. He has an sharp and combative narrative style that frequently draws upon the gym as a analogy. Narrative pattern/style: Reporting - Detailing experiences using an evaluatory style (delivers a punch-line with repeated ‘fighting’ analogy) which is consistently applied UNTIL he narrates a life-changing event which changes the dynamic of the discourse (disclosure) – reverts to short period of reporting which becomes externally-positioned (them, not me) - justification
  • “The Fighter”  “…a rebellious person but I would love to go against anything anyone says.”  “Anyone can argue me down, I will argue down, I won’t stop, I will never give up. And that’s what I love…I was there as well in the front row, I never back down, trust me.”  “…so I proved them wrong…”; “...I’ve proved everyone wrong and that’s what I loved, that’s it.”  “Like when I’m with my family I don’t feel like I belong there because everyone’s just screaming and they’re crazy…there are people who are against you and they’re really rebellious, I don’t feel like I’m accepted there as well.”  “...it’s different for me” and “it really felt like yes, social class is showing here big time.”  “It’s like they give me an active role and they welcome me warmly and they don’t make me feel like I’m an outsider.”14
  • University Life “Sir Man!” Interesting use of address which implies a combination of respect (sir) and comfort (man) - vernacular Expresses tensions in fitting in among a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds and considers this a shared experience by other students. Continuous awareness of class distinctions/boundaries…”it’s different for me” – works at mediating this by joining certain societies (political party, debating) he considers exclusive and elitist, but experiences acceptance which is self-validating although he expresses that this is not achieved without ‘a fight’. Attempts to create ‘spheres of influence’. He relates parts of the physical environment to cultural zones; the Zone is where African people chill, the Quad is literally Pakistan. He sees an exclusive territorial behaviour, which is not replicated in his view of the world.
  • Links to literature‘The Boxer’ places emphasis on the nature of the teaching he receives, suggests that his experience of teaching in the university environment exceeds that of his prior expectations.He holds the academic staff in high regard. Such affiliation of students towards faculty members has been reported to enhance student sense of belonging (Hamilton, McFarland, Mirchandani 2000). Additionally, Kember, Ho, Hong (2010) emphasis the importance of teachers as; ‘available, friendly and helpful’.These were the factors, which underlined the building of close student-staff relationships. In an American study of black students, Rice and Alford (1989) also posit the importance of student access to teaching staff as relevant.
  • Links to literature ‘The Boxer’ places high value on the teaching he has received at university and his perception of increasing his own knowledge and understanding, appears to have provided ‘psychological energy’ (Braxton et al 2000, Berger & Milem 1999) which is required for increased socialisation on campus.
  • Fitting in ‘The Boxer’, in relating his perception of some university areas as places for other races, suggests that he perceives himself to be in an environment of other races. The perception of not fitting-in has been related to students who are not part of the majority, in terms of race, and as such, may lack self-esteem (de Beer, Smith & Jansen 2009). Hurtado et al (2007) state the importance of ‘cross-racial interactions’ for higher sense of belonging on campus.
  • Literature Themes1. Culture & Self-Perception Chow & Healy (2008) de Beer, Smith & Jansen (2009) Kember, Ho, Hong (2010)2. University Branding and Dixon & Durrhiem (2004)the Physical Environment Haussmann et al (2009)3. Induction & Transition Braxton, Milem & Shaw-Sullivan (2000) Edward (2003) Vinson et al (2010)4. Teaching and (Group) Hamilton, McFarland & MirchandaniBelonging (2000) Levett-Jones & Lathlean (2008) Meeuwisse, Severiens &Born (2010)5. Career focus Edward (2003)
  • Team members I am working as part of a wider project team: Queen Mary University: Guglielmo Volpe (leading on Quantitative Research) Westminster University: Helen Pokorny David Chalcraft, Debbi Husbands London Metropolitan University: Linda Johnson, Suzanne Kane, Myrtle Emanuel, Ronke Shoderu20
  • References Berry, J. & Loke, G. (2011). Improving the degree attainment of black minority ethnic students. Higher Education Academy, Equality Challenge Unit. Chinwe, U.L., McMahon, H., Furlow, G.H. & Carolyn, F. (2008). School belonging, educational aspirations, and academic self-efficacy among African American male high school students: implications for school counselors. Professional School Counselling. Coker, A. (2003). African American Female Adult Learners: Motivations, Challenges and Coping Strategies. Journal of Black Studies. 33(5), 654-674. Craig, S., Hall, J. & Peat, J. Final Report - Journeys to Success – an investigation of the factors which impact positively on the academic attainment of Black and minority ethnic students at Roehampton University. Edwards, N.S. (2003). First impressions last: An innovative approach to induction. Active Learning in Higher Education, 4(3), 226-242. Erling, E.J. (2009). An investigation into the relationship between the use of academic language and attainment – with a focus on students from ethnic minorities. An OU publication. Fee, H., Greenan, K. & Wall, A. (2010). An investigation into secondary school exit standards: Implications for university lecturers. The International Journal of Management Education, 8(2). Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79-90.21
  • References Hassanien, A. & Barber, A. (2007). An evaluation of student induction in Higher Education. International Journal of Management Education, 6(3), 35-43. Hamilton, D., McFarland, D. & Mirchandani, D. (2000). A decision model for integration across the business curriculum in the 21st century. Journal of Management Education, 24(1), 102-126. Hausmann, L.R.M., Ye, F., Schofield, J.W. & Woods, R.L. (2009). Sense of belonging and persistence in White and African-American first-year students. Research in Higher Education, 50, 649-669. Holley, D. Biographical Narrative Hurtado, S., & Carter, D.F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial climate on Latino college students’ sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70, 324-345. Wengraf, T. (2001). Qualitative Research Interviewing. London: Sage Publishing. Wolfe, K., Potts, H.W.W. & McManus, I.C. (2011). Ethnicity and academic performance in UK trained doctors and medical students: systematic review and meta-analysis, British Medical Journal (available online). Zepke, L. & Leach. L. (2010). Improving student engagement: ten proposals for action. Active Learning in Higher Education, 11(3), 167-177.22