Student Attainment in Higher Education: Issues, controversies and debates is a timely exploration of student attainment in a rapidly changing higher education context and a rapidly changing world. The effects of neoliberalism and the commercialization of everyday life on education have been well documented, but with a focus on pedagogy, whilst student success is measured through grades, statistics and metrics. By exploring attainment in a broader context, this book provides a unique contribution to the critical literature on contemporary higher education.
Within the themes of understanding attainment and challenging practice, the book sets out to explore student attainment as complex and multifaceted. It achieves this by looking at different conceptualizations of what attainment means and to whom; how attainment is shaped by different and often competing agendas and vested interests. The book highlights these wider issues, controversies and debates that underpin student attainment, whilst at the same time engaging with strategic and local interventions, which set out to improve aspects of the higher education system and increase individual and social agency within it.
Sharing a range of pedagogical approaches and interventions, some of the key topics include:
- addressing attainment gaps
- engaging mature learners
- nurturing the intellectual identity
- the impact of activity choices.
Creating a dialogue amongst different audiences about national and international controversies and debates around the topic of student attainment, this contribution will be beneficial to teaching professionals, policymakers and strategists. As an edited collection with contextualisation in the wider research arena, the book has both national and international applicability and transferability.
Table of Contents
Preface Ian Dunn Introduction Graham Steventon and Tony O’Shea-Poon 1. Influencing change through a strategic approach to student attainment Geoff Layer Critical friend commentary: Chris Duke 2. Dilemmas in addressing the ethnicity attainment gap Tony O’Shea-Poon Critical friend commentary: Gary Loke 3. Addressing the attainment gap at the University of Derby: from theory to practice? Jean Mutton and Philip Plowden Critical friend commentary: Ed Foster 4. Linking attainment to interculturalism and global citizenship Alun Evans and Caroline Wilson Critical friend commentary: Betty Leask 5. The secret of student success: student identity, belonging and the psychological contract Debra Cureton Critical friend commentary: Liz Thomas 6. Intellectuality, student attainment and the contemporary higher education system Gurnam Singh and Stephen Cowden Critical friend commentary: Glynis Cousin 7. Authentic learning: a route to student attainment? Graham Steventon Critical friend commentary: Brian Nelson 8. Mentoring for attainment Arinola Adefila Critical friend commentary: Ann Darwin 9. Student attainment through activity-led cooperative learning Sarah Wilson-Medhurst Critical friend commentary: Roger Hadgraft 10. Mixing metaphors for academic writing development Christina Howell-Richardson and Lisa Ganobcsik-Williams Critical friend commentary: Kelly Peake 11. Building a house on sand? Are vocational education and training qualifications an (in)equitable stepping-stone to success in higher education? Tracy McCoy and Don Adamson Critical friend commentary: Paul Haywood 12. (not) Talkin’ ‘bout my generation: is higher education engaging older learners? Christine Broughan and Jim Soulsby Critical friend commentary: Marvin Formosa 13. Being a student and becoming a professional: tensions and challenges in attaining a professional identity Lynn Clouder Critical friend commentary: Joy Higgs Issues, controversies and debates: concluding thoughts Glynis Cousin
Dr Graham Steventon is a senior lecturer in Criminology at Coventry University. He has published and presented at international conferences on pedagogy and the use of technologies for teaching, learning and assessment.
Dr Debra Cureton works as a research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton focusing on student experience and success.
Lynn Clouder is Professor of Professional Education and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning Enhancement in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University.