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Invited summary - John Dearn,
John suggested we consider 12 issues:
- Who owns the “at risk” agenda in universities? Is it the senior managers or the coal face teachers? Where are all the really interested academics in this system? Do they sit on the key committees; are they the decision makers; do they decide on important changes like resources needed to support commencing students, etc? Are they senior people who are heard?
- Is there an international professional community that owns the “at risk” agenda? What is it? Are there international journals devoted to this topic? Do we publish in them?
- Does this international professional community engage in appropriate research? Do we know enough about the “at risk” agenda? Is the research rigorous, comprehensive? What research should we be doing collaboratively across
- Does the professional community do a good enough job of communicating our issues to decision makers/higher management? Are the issues dealt with appropriately in general debate?
- Do we link university-wide initiatives with issue of student support?
- There is a tension between university strategic directions and the duty of care for students. This needs to have public debate?
- There is a moral dimension about what our work is. Are we there because we believe we can help?
- The rhetoric of the “at risk” agenda seems negative. At risk of what? Of meeting our agenda which is to pass; what about the students’ agenda?
- We lack a strong developmental process with respect to students – their development during their university experience. We need to use a developmental framework for transition, eg the cognitive apprenticeship model.
- Learning to learn should be the basis of all university experience. We need to introduce a professional development planning model so that all students are aware of what is needed to be developed during the degree program.
- Does “at risk” only exist when the institution is dysfunctional?; when students fall through the cracks?
- Are universities really listening to students? Brendan Nelson doesn’t believe we are – that we do not put student first.
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Last Update: Monday, 30-Apr-2012 16:53:46 EST