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Lecturers, academic practice, and student epistemic access in higher education in South Africa

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Abstract:

Drawing on interview data, the paper explores the factors that constrain or enable student success in rapidly changing university environment. It looks at how lecturers negotiate their roles and responsibilities towards students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It does so with reference to the following constructs: (i) distribution of authority, or the ways lecturers as educative authorities position themselves in a social relation of authority with students and manage this relationship; (ii) distribution of knowledge, i.e. how they work with knowledge and make it familiar to them; (iii) distribution of responsibilities between ‘the lecturer’ and ‘the student’ in relation to the process of learning and teaching; (iv) distantiation and/or pedagogic distance, or how lecturers establish cognitive distance from the students’ own established knowledge and taken-for-granted assumptions in relation to academic practice; (v) pedagogic codes and images, i.e. forms of symbolic control through selection and integration of relevant meanings, texts and contexts; (vi) explicit and implicit rules, connected to the ways in which students get to understand how the university learning environment works; (vii) research, which requires both distantiation and appropriation, or some level of cognitive distance from one’s established knowledge of the object of study through rigorous modes of inquiry; (viii) articulation or being able to communicate findings verbally or in writing so that the lecturer’s knowledge becomes the object and means of reflection and learning for students; and (ix) re-visiting the familiar, how lecturers re-conceptualise and engage with their understandings of pedagogic practice. The paper responds to the question: how can lecturers become and remain effective teachers/’educators’? It shows that it is more the under-preparedness of the lecturers than the under-preparedness of the students that poses a major challenge.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493929_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Cross, Michael. "Lecturers, academic practice, and student epistemic access in higher education in South Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493929_index.html>

APA Citation:

Cross, M. , 2011-04-30 "Lecturers, academic practice, and student epistemic access in higher education in South Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493929_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Drawing on interview data, the paper explores the factors that constrain or enable student success in rapidly changing university environment. It looks at how lecturers negotiate their roles and responsibilities towards students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It does so with reference to the following constructs: (i) distribution of authority, or the ways lecturers as educative authorities position themselves in a social relation of authority with students and manage this relationship; (ii) distribution of knowledge, i.e. how they work with knowledge and make it familiar to them; (iii) distribution of responsibilities between ‘the lecturer’ and ‘the student’ in relation to the process of learning and teaching; (iv) distantiation and/or pedagogic distance, or how lecturers establish cognitive distance from the students’ own established knowledge and taken-for-granted assumptions in relation to academic practice; (v) pedagogic codes and images, i.e. forms of symbolic control through selection and integration of relevant meanings, texts and contexts; (vi) explicit and implicit rules, connected to the ways in which students get to understand how the university learning environment works; (vii) research, which requires both distantiation and appropriation, or some level of cognitive distance from one’s established knowledge of the object of study through rigorous modes of inquiry; (viii) articulation or being able to communicate findings verbally or in writing so that the lecturer’s knowledge becomes the object and means of reflection and learning for students; and (ix) re-visiting the familiar, how lecturers re-conceptualise and engage with their understandings of pedagogic practice. The paper responds to the question: how can lecturers become and remain effective teachers/’educators’? It shows that it is more the under-preparedness of the lecturers than the under-preparedness of the students that poses a major challenge.


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