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ERIC Number: EJ1076182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
A Social Realist Perspective on Student Learning in Higher Education: The Morphogenesis of Agency
Case, Jennifer M.
Higher Education Research and Development, v34 n5 p841-852 2015
Contemporary critiques of student learning research call for new theoretical and methodological approaches. This article proposes a social realist approach to this research, using the morphogenetic theory of sociologist Margaret Archer. The applicability of this approach is demonstrated by reference to an empirical study of engineering students at a South African university, using narrative analysis. In the article itself, two narratives are given in some detail, illustrating the key outlines of the analysis. Students' emerging personal identities are shown to be highly dependent on their social backgrounds, yet when in the university the possibilities for the morphogenesis of student agency are very constrained. A critical interrogation of these findings proposes that a true higher education should facilitate the development of an enlarged sense of agency for students.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Cape Town)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A