18th EAN Annual Conference York

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					18th EAN Annual International Conference
         York St John University
            22-24 June 2009

   Diversity, inclusion, and the
transforming student experience
         Professor Stuart Billingham
                    Conceptualising WP
• Focus on under-representation and barriers
• Retained emphasis on under-representation but
  with new focus on student “life-course”; “life
  cycle”; “learning journey”, and issues of
  “transition(s)” and “success”
• More attention now to “life in HE” and “life after
  HE” and not just “life before HE”
                      A Cultural Change Agenda

• Thomas (2005) identified four key priorities:
   – Introducing diversity into the curriculum...
   – Mainstreaming interactive, student-centred learning and
   – Reviewing assessment strategies that are suitable for all
   – Moving towards an integrated model of academic and
     pastoral support that enables all students to achieve their
  L.Thomas (2005) The implications of widening particpation for learning and teaching, in Chris
  Duke and Geoff Layer (eds) Widening participation: which way forward for English higher
  education, NIACE
                      Thessaloniki 2006

• “An integrated strategy for widening
  participation requires fresh thinking
  about what we mean by WP”
• “It requires a new discourse and
  new practices within institutions...”

  S. Billingham (2006) Long live widening
  participation: integrated strategy for sustainable
  change, EAN 15th Annual Conference, 30 August
  – 1 September, Thessalonki, Greece
          Participation        Sustainable

Non-deficit         Partnerships for
Discourse         Community Capacity
                  Learning Reconsidered

• “Learning Reconsidered defines learning as a
  comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity
  that integrates academic learning and student
  development processes that have often been
  considered separate, and even independent of
  each other.”

  NASPA (2004) Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the
  Student Experience, National Association of Student Personnel
  Administrators (NASPA), emphases in the original
                 Partnerships and Power

• Learning Reconsidered disturbs several
  traditional bases of power and influence in the
  academy. In particular,
• “ is only through the explicit integration of
  academic learning and student development that
  we can provide a transformative experience”
  NASPA (2004) Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the
  Student Experience, National Association of Student Personnel
  Administrators (NASPA), emphasis added
         The student experience as learning

• The potential of viewing the student experience
  through “learning goals”
  – Learning to perform (motor and perceptual skills)
  – Learning to make sense (subject knowledge and
    cognitive understandings)
  – Learning to participate (becoming part of
  – Learning to be (developing one‟s sense of identity)

    With thanks to Jill Armstrong, adapted from: B. Van Oers, eds (2008) The
    Transformation of Learning:Advances in Cultural-Historical Theory, Cambride
    University Press
                         Two Years On

• A recent UK discussion paper on how to
  continue to provide high quality teaching and
  student experiences against a background of a
  more diverse student population, identifies three
  – Reforming curriculum and assessment
  – Developing a more flexible workforce
  – Rethinking quality and engaging students in a
    responsible partnership
    P.Ramsden (2008) The Future of Higher Education Teaching and the
    Student Experience, Dept for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS),
     Widening Participation or Engagement?

• Participation in can suggest simply taking part in
  what exists already
• Might engagement with serve us better in terms
  of suggesting change not only to who
  participates (narrow definition of diversity) but
  also to
   – the basis of participation (partnership and
   – the what, where, and when of participation
     (broad definition of diversity)
                  Partnerships and Power

For example, in terms of the basis of participation:

• “We will not be able to take the student
  experience forward unless we see it as a joint
  venture between students and those who
  provide higher education”

  P.Ramsden (2008) The Future of Higher Education Teaching and
  the Student Experience, Dept. for Innovation, Universities & Skills
               Widening Engagement

• Widening participation as widening engagement
  leads us to ask, for example:
  – Is the range of people, organisations, agencies
    involved with the design, delivery, evaluation and
    enhancement of student learning goals consistent
    with „the broad definition of diversity‟?
  – Are the ways in which these individuals, organisations
    and agencies engage with higher education
    institutions, and the sector generally, consistent with
    the principles of inclusion and partnership?
                      The Future?

• In summary:

• Widening engagement with
  higher education is about
  overcoming current and historic
  patterns of under-representation
  through exploiting new ways for
  these sections of our society to
  help shape higher education