Purpose, theory and policy for higher education
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Purpose, theory and policy for higher education

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  • Introduce selfBrief the exercise10 minutes for introductions of the tables15 minutes for the aims and objectives15 minutes plenary feedback

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  • 1. Cranfield UniversityPGCLTAHE
    Module 1: Scholarship and Philosophy of
    Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
    February 2011
    George Roberts, PhD
    Oxford Brookes University
    http://www.slideshare.net/georgeroberts/philosophy-of-higher-education
  • 2. Purpose of the day
    To analyse and reflect critically on Higher Education policy and practice and the explanatory frameworks that underpin policy and practice
    Consider the “big picture”
    The bits that aren’t in the “papers”
    Reflection
    Peer review
    The qualitative research agenda
    Keep getting to know each other: peer group development!
  • 3. Introductions
    Introduce yourself and briefly say
    which School/Service you are with,
    what you teach or how you support learning
    Discuss
    do you have a mentor? (Handbook p. 3)
    what’s a mentor?
    Baseline profile (33)
    Learning Agreement (34)
  • 4. Modular structure
  • 5. Work Plan/Targets
  • 6. Activity: ABCD 1
    Asset based community development (ABCD)
    Affective recall
    Describe a time and a place in your life before you came to this job when you felt really energized and creative. Describe that situation to your partner
  • 7. ABCD2
    2 pictures
  • 8.
  • 9. http://www.artsreview.co.za/fashion/2009/03/19/fuck-the-rainbow-nation-coz-94-changed-fokol-blackwash/
  • 10. Activity
    In pairs/threes, with chart paper…
    What [the heck] is “Philosophy of Higher Education”?
    Discuss, and on the chart paper write one idea, that, for you, is central to this question
  • 11. Agenda
    http://www.xmind.net/share/georgeroberts/xmind-768070/
  • 12. Agenda
  • 13. Aims and intended outcomes
    Intended Learning Outcomes (Handbook p. 7)
    Articulate a critical and scholarly review of theories of higher education and its purposes
    Criticality (ILO 1)
    Contribute to the development of a scholarly & critical understanding of Higher Education in society
    Assess the relevance of these philosophies and mechanisms in context
    Globalisation (ILO 2)
    Apply your analysis of discourses of education and power to the sustainability of social order attributes and the institutions of society
    Access (ILO 2)
    Apply a richer understanding of your role in higher education to the improvement of learning for your students, yourself, your discipline and institution(s)
    Responsibility (ILO 2)
    Explore the contingencies of “truth” as it underlies disciplinary (experimental) methods
    Curricula (ILO 2)
    Explain and apply the concept of a hidden curriculum to objective-led learning, teaching and assessment (and management)
    Demonstrate commitment to core professional values of scholarship, development of learning communities, CPD and evaluation
    Community (ILO 3)
    Interpret and actualise values in practice
  • 14. Card sort: Issues and drivers
    At your table
    Individually: sort the cards in order of the things that most influence your role
    Choose your top 3 and briefly explain to your colleagues
    Together: Each table choose their top 2
    Explain to the room
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18. BREAK
  • 19. History of Ideas“purpose”
    Some people
    Institutions of society
    Purpose of Higher Education
    Academic identity
  • 20. Institutions of society
    Estates
    Production
    Reproduction
  • 21. Hidden curricular issues
    Overt curriculum of the early modern age
    “3 Rs”: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. Reproduction of these cultural goods, universal literacy and numeracy, would benefit both the individual as well as society.
    Today’s overt curriculum
    Flexibility, community/team work, personalisation (particularly in the ICT sense)
  • 22. Covert curriculum: education as politics
    Industrial era covert curriculum:
    Punctuality, tolerance of repetition, subordination
    Post industrial “Knowledge Economy” covert curriculum
    Piecework, precarity, competition
    Normalisation
    Surveillance
  • 23. Activity: let’s get critical
    Universities are supposed by the Charter [for Higher Education, 1993] to "deliver" a "service", namely higher education to "customers", in two divisions, firstly students, and secondly business which "buys" both education and the results of commissioned research. The "delivery" to students is by way of "teaching" or "effective management of ... learning", in "courses", all of which have "aims and structures" clearly described in advance, and any of which include "transferrable skills like problem solving and effective communication". The standards of these providers of teaching are guaranteed by "quality assurance systems" which will be "regularly audited" and will enable applicants to discover “… how well different universities and colleges are performing".
    Each of these phrases within quotation marks, and all of them cumulatively betray a conception of higher education which is not only not that of the university, but is actively hostile to the university.
    Maskell, D. & Robinson, I. (2001). The new idea of a university. London: Haven Books.  
  • 24. What’s wrong with?
    Deliver
    Service
    Customer
    Buys
    Teaching
    Effective management of learning
    Courses
    Aims and structures
    Transferrable skills like problem solving and effective communication
    Quality assurance systems
    Regularly audited
    Will enable applicants to discover how well different universities and colleges are performing
  • 25. LUNCH
  • 26. Learning Theory“difference”
    Social and biological bases of cognition
    -isms and –ologies
    Difference
    Criticality
    Competence
  • 27. That’s all very well in practice,
    but how does it work in theory?
  • 28. Activity
    We’ve had a typology, but
    What’s theory for you?
  • 29. Theory
    Systematic codification or abstraction of:
    • Accumulated observations ( or assertions)
    • 30. Beliefs
    Conceptual framework
    • Model
    An attempt to answer the question, “Why...?”
    An approach or a perspective, e.g.:
    • Positivist
    • 31. Socio-cultural
    See De-localized Production of Scientific Knowledge. (2007, October 7). . Retrieved from http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mediaberkman/2007/09/21/de-localized-production-of-scientific-knowledge-2/
  • 32. There is differencewhat do you do with it?- as a teacher- as a researcher- as an academic
  • 33. Biological bases of cognition
    Training is intimately connected with and dependent on the human cognitive system. Learning means that the cognitive system acquires information and stores it for future use. If these processes do not occur properly, then the learners will not initially acquire the information, and even if they do… the information will not be utilised and behaviour modified.
    It does not matter if the objective is learning new information (e.g., compliance regulations, product specifications, etc.), acquiring new skills …, or knowledge sharing … the processes of acquiring, storing and applying the information are critical.
    See, e.g. Cognitive Consultants International (CCI) http://cognitiveconsultantsinternational.com/index.php?siteID=2
  • 34. Philosophical bases of knowledge
    Most academics - in the humanities and social sciences, particularly - come at their subject these days from a relativist perspective: knowledge is "in here"; there is no knowledge without the knower; knowledge is "constructed" in cultural contexts; knowledge is not "given" or "out there". There is no "absolute truth".
    This position is quite different from the classical approach: knowledge is "out there"; the "laws of nature" are independent from the mind of the investigator; there is "truth" to be discovered. This approach depends on the "independent, objective observer", who can stand aside from the observed phenomenon and form an unbiased view.
     This classical approach is the traditional position of many scientists, as well the commonsense view of how knowledge is produced, which (according to Scollon) is held by an international public discourse of commerce and government. (see Scollon 2003: 71)
  • 35. 2 orientations towards acquiring knowledge & … 2 functions of theorydeductivefrom theory to observationpredictiveinductivefrom observation to theoryexplanatory
    What about abduction
    Retroduction
  • 36. another orientation towards acquiring knowledge & … another function of theoryholisticgenerative
  • 37. So… theory is:
    predictive
    explanatory
    generative
  • 38. and, which reminds me… theory is:
    nomothetic
    oops!
    typical
    Or typifying
    Or typologising
  • 39. So, we have a typology of theory…
    a theory of theory
    explanatory
    predictive
    generative
    typical
  • 40. And the last bit?
    Falsifiable
    Theory vs.. ideology:
    Ideology may well be predictive and explanatory, but instead of generative it is restrictive, instead of typical it is normalising and instead of falsifiable it is enforced. (Popper)
  • 41. So, we have a (new) typology of theory…
    a theory of theory
    explanatory
    predictive
    generative
    typical
    falsifiable
  • 42. Stephen Brookfield’s four “critical reflective lenses”
    • our “autobiography as teachers and learners”, i.e. through our own eyes
    • 43. through our students eyes
    • 44. through our colleagues’ experience and peer review
    • 45. through the theoretical literature
    Theoretical literature helps us to name our practice and to find that it is not idiosyncratic
  • 46. ... learning can be enhanced through: a consideration of the context and experience of others, familiarity with received wisdom, reflection on these, and the use of the first hand experience of the learner.
    [however]
    Discussions of reflection in learning often emphasise the first hand experience of the learner rather than the role of formal theory, the importance of the broader social context and the experience of others
    (Dyke 2006)
    Reflective practice?
  • 47. A theory of identity…?
  • 48. Academic identity
    Disciplinarity as a dimension of diversity in higher education, showing an understanding of broad differences in epistemologies
    Disciplinarity may affect
    learning approaches
    curriculum outcomes
    current challenges
    learner characteristics…
  • 49. Discipline… is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets… And it may be taken over… by institutions that use it as an essential instrument for a particular end (schools, hospitals)…
    (Foucault, 1977, p. 215)
  • 50. Activities
    1
    VAK Questionnaire
    2
    Think of something you have learned.
    How did you learn this? What processes did you go through? What did you do to learn?
  • 51. BREAK
  • 52. Typical critical theory
    • anti-essentialist/critical realist: the basic givens of existence are fluid and unstable
    • 53. heteroglossic/dialogic: all thinking is largely determined by prior cultural experience (ideological or identity commitment)
    • 54. language is an actor (weak linguistic determinism)
    • 55. meaning is characterised by ambiguity
    • 56. context is everything
    • 57. grand narratives are hegemonies of the powerful
  • Epistemologies
    The study of knowledge
    In here : out there
    deductive : inductive
  • 58. Models
    Linear
    Beetham
    Cyclical
    Kolb
    Laurillard
    Hierarchical
    Bloom
    Salmon
  • 59. Beetham’s typology
    Assimilative
    Constructivist
    Social constructivist
    Situative
  • 60. Kolb’s Learning Cycle
    experiencing
    planning
    reflecting
    thinking
  • 61.
  • 62. Conversational model
    Borrowed from http://www.elicit.scotcit.ac.uk/modules/intro/unit3.htm
  • 63. Levels of learning: Bloom
    evaluation
    synthesis
    analysis
    application
    comprehension
    knowledge
    ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching: Bloom's taxonomy [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/bloomtax.htm
  • 64. Sequence & Stance
    Sequence
    Where are you in the course? Is it the first week or the 8th week?
    Have groups been used in other settings?
    Do people know one another yet?
    What is the interactional function of groupwork (as opposed to the instrumental or regulatory orheuristicfunctions?)
    Maxims of stance (Scollon 1998)
    Channel
    Relationship
    Topic
    e-Tivity Sequence
    (Salmon)
  • 65. Education levels and taxonomies
    Pedagogical pragmatism
    Face
    Posture
    Stance
  • 66. M-level
    Masters degrees, PG Certificates and PG Diplomas
    systematic understanding of knowledge, and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;
    comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;
    originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
    conceptual understanding that enables the student:
    to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and
    to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
    Quality assurance agency for higher education (QAA) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/FHEQ/EWNI/#framework
  • 67. Values
    Core values
    Respect for learners
    Commitment to scholarship
    Developing learning communities
    Encouraging participation in higher education
    Commitment to personal CPD
    Higher Education Academy
    Professional Standards Framework
  • 68. Higher Education Policy
    Levels of analysis
    Drivers
    Outcomes
    Pragmatics
  • 69. Policy: the Big Picture
    Globalisation
    Liberalisation
    Participation
    Innovation
    Education and training policy replaces industrial policy as the means by which governments seek to make regions economically competitive
  • 70. Critical theory
    Expose hidden assumptions
    Structured reduction of complexity
    • What is left out
    Indirect object of learning
    • Hidden curriculum
  • Critical reflection
    “Reflection becomes critical when it has two distinct purposes:
    … to understand how considerations of power undergird, frame and distort educational processes and interactions.
    … to question …assumptions and practices that seem to make our teaching lives easier but actually work against our long-term interests.”
    Brookfield (2005: 8)
  • 71. Level/scale
    personal
    local
    institutional
    regional
    sectoral
    national
    global

    Impact
    • When analysing policy impact it is customary to consider 3 (or 4 or 5) levels.
    • 72. The choice depends on the rhetorical aim of the analysis
  • http://www.geostrategis.com/p_policy.htm
  • 73. http://www.crdi.ca/acca/ev-103646-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html andhttp://www.cbnrm.net/
  • 74. Looking forward
    Workshop programme
    Constructive alignment
    Course, Module, Lesson Design
    Teaching Practice
    Assessment
  • 75. Outcomes Debate
    In the 1970s and 1980s, learning outcomes were seen as a progressive attempt to overcome the “old-school-tie” effect where who you knew and who you were were more important factors in determining educational success and employability than what you could do.
    By making learning outcomes explicit and linking them to real-world evidence, it was hoped that a greater meritocratic ethos would prevail. This became known as the “competency and outcomes movement”.
    However through the 1980s and 1990s competencies and outcomes became associated in the public mind with performative targets and managerial micro-control of learning and teaching. Far from being seen as a progressive attempt to wrest education from the hands of social elites, competencies and outcomes were seen to be a reactionary imposition on academic freedom.
  • 76. Outcomes Debate
    This course and others like it are taught from a very pronounced “perspective”:
    Constructive Alignment
    Stated simply:
    Description, aims, outcomes, activity, assessment are all clearly articulated in a common language
  • 77. Peer review
    How have you drawn on a process of peer review?
    Formal e.g. teaching observation
    Informal e.g. note of a lunch-time conversation after you gave a good lecture
    Programmatic e.g. programme development team meetings, course review events, validations, examination committees, etc
  • 78. Wrap-up
    Questions?
    Academics anonymous
  • 79. Thank you
    George Roberts, PhD
    Senior Lecturer, Educational Development
    OCSLD
    Wheatley Campus
    Oxford Brookes University
    Oxford, OX33 1HX
    groberts@brookes.ac.uk
    http://www.google.com/profiles/georgebroberts
    http://www.slideshare.net/georgeroberts/philosophy-of-higher-education