How do disabled students feel about their time at university? What practices and policies work and what challenges do they encounter? How do they view staff and those providing learning support?
This book sets out to show how disabled students experience university life today. The current generation of students is the first to move through university after the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Act, which placed responsibility on universities to create an inclusive environment for disabled students. The research on which the book is based focuses on a selected group of students with a variety of impairments, as they progress through their degree courses. On the way they encounter different styles of teaching and approaches to learning and assessment. The diversity of their views is reflected in the issues they raise: negotiating identities, dealing with transitions, encountering divergent and sometimes confusing teaching and assessment.
Improving Disabled Students’ Learning goes on to ask university staff how they experience these new demands to widen participation and create more inclusive learning climates. It explores their perspectives on their roles in a changing university sector. Offering insights into the workings of universities, as seen by their central participants, its findings will be of great interest to all practitioners who teach and support disabled students, as well as campaigners for an end to discrimination. Crucially, it foregrounds the views of disabled students themselves, giving rise to a complex, contradictory and always fascinating picture of university life from students whose voices are not always heard.
PART 1 WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH DISABLED STUDENTS’ LEARNING? 1. Introduction PART 2: WHAT OUR RESEARCH STUDY TELLS US 2. Managerialism and equalities: tensions within widening access policy and practice for disabled students in UK universities 3. Listening to disabled students on teaching, learning and reasonable adjustments 4. Assessing disabled students: student and staff experiences of reasonable adjustments 5. Curriculum and pedagogy: challenges and dilemmas for teaching staff 6. Identity work: ways of being a disabled student in higher education 7. The idea of fitness to practise: discourses of disability and the negotiation of identity in initial teacher training 8. Troublesome transitions? Disabled students’ entry into and journey through higher education 9. Organizational structures for disability support: contradictions as catalysts for change PART 3: WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF OUR STUDY OF DISABLED STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCES? 10. Reflections and conclusions
The Improving Learning series showcases findings from projects within ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) – the UK’s largest ever coordinated educational research initiative. Each book is explicitly designed to support ‘evidence-informed’ decisions in educational practice and policy-making. In particular, they combine rigorous social and educational science with high awareness of the significance of the issues being researched.