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Title: Participants' voice : what works well in helping students to learn to pass assessments in the further education college 'classroom'? : implications for learning, teaching and assessment
Author: Allan, John Morland
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is concerned with learning, teaching and assessment in the Scottish Further Education College Sector. The thesis employs a phenomenological approach to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data grounded in the experience of principal participants – senior managers, lecturers and students – in 4 further education colleges in central Scotland during academic year 2003/04. The research question was concerned with exploration and identification of teaching and learning strategies that enabled student success in assessments in FE, and the data collection was designed to elicit information about ‘what works’ from all parties involved. Three theoretical lenses are offered through which participant perspectives can be read. Firstly, the policy context is assessed in terms of its neo-liberal managerialist tendencies, and the effects of these on teaching and learning are considered, with particular attention to the possible dissonance between performativity on the one hand and authentic social relationships on the other. Furthermore, the degree to which such dissonance may characterise the system, especially in relation to assessment, is considered. Secondly, teaching is presented as a craft with its own tacit knowledge base which is to some extent shared by all participants, although there may be factures between them. Thirdly, learning is discussed from a constructivist perspective from which other theories of learning are considered and critiqued. The main conclusions reached by the study are as follows: Firstly, although there was evidence of authentic social relationships between participants, these appeared to exist in dissonance with an emphasis on performativity in passing assessments, which appeared to be driving approaches to learning and teaching. Secondly, although participants share a common craft knowledge which valued cognitive and affective dimensions of classroom interaction, there were significant differences between the perceptions of senior managers on the one hand, and students and lecturers on the other. Thirdly, learning activity appeared to be concerned mainly with gathering and reproducing information, with little evidence of knowledge transformation or social construction of meaning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available