Teaching and Learning assignment planning

Last year couldn’t have gone much better in terms of what I felt I got out of the EdD, so one thing I’ve learned is to keep doing what I was doing – that is – blogging in response to reading, following a clear study plan.

However, this year it looks like we need to take more individual control over what we read. For RRW2 I just read everything suggested, and trusted an assignment would emerge from the tangled chrysalis like a beautiful butterfly. Miraculously, it did seem to do that, but it’s unlikely to happen a second time… so I’d better start my assignment planning a little earlier.

I think our Teaching and Learning assignment is as follows:

Develop a 5000 word literature review around a question relating to your thesis.

I’m actually still on the fence with regards to my thesis, but let’s pretend I’m not and my thesis is to do with inclusivity and social justice in HE teacher training. Last year I started using what I’ve called a ‘stratified curriculum‘ in order to make pedagogic theory more accessible, with the ultimate aim of promoting a lasting positive attitude towards theory-informed practice.

Given that my thesis might be to argue for or evaluate certain measures to improve the accessibility of HE teacher training, I think my primary question for a literature review would be something like this:

What is social justice in the context of HE teacher education, and how might it impact on the sector and on society?

I could break this up into the following questions:

  • What is the meaning of social justice in a general educational context? Where are the points of departure between this and the specific context of HE teacher education?
  • Who teaches in HE? What kind of roles do they have? What kinds of educational backgrounds and cultural capital?
  • What is the current situation with access to and achievement in teacher education programmes? How does this vary across the sector? How has it changed? How is it changing?
  • How is success of teacher education programmes measured? What are the factors influencing their success?

N.B. It might be that a thesis on this topic would be quite controversial. Look at the grumbling that still goes on about the ‘dumbing down’ of HE… and I may very well be proposing we dumb things down for the teachers as well.

So… I now have four themes to read around and will use this as the basis for my own reading list (anyone out there – please feel free to add to it!) At the moment I’m only feeling particularly inspired by (1), probably because it’s a fresh area for me, and I sense there will be plenty of deep philosophical stuff in it (which I like). I can start to fill in with some of the sources I used in my RRW2 assignment, and I will ask David to suggest some more deep thinkers whose work I might relate to the themes and questions.

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