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ERIC Number: EJ1094221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Partnerships and Parents--Relationships in Tutorial Programmes
Layton, Delia; McKenna, Sioux
Higher Education Research and Development, v35 n2 p296-308 2016
The tutorial system is considered to be a useful pedagogical intervention to improve student retention, particularly in the context of a first-year student's experience of entering university. For these novice students to achieve academic success, it is important that they are given access to the subject-specific knowledge and practices in their different disciplines, that is, that they acquire "epistemological access". A recent study of the tutorial system in a South African university (Layton, D.M. [2013]. "A social realist account of the tutorial system at the University of Johannesburg" (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Rhodes University, Grahamstown), sought to discover to what extent tutorials were discursively constructed as being about the enablement of epistemological access. This paper focuses on two discourses that emerged from the study--the parent discourse and the partnership discourse. Both discourses were concerned with relationships between key stakeholders in the tutorial programme. Given that tutorials are considered to be spaces in which more intimate learning can take place than in the anonymous environment of the large lecture hall, an interrogation of the relationships fostered in tutorials is important. The parent discourse, in which students were positioned as "kids" needing care, was supportive of new students but ran the risk of being patronising and reductionist. The partnerships discourse, in which tutors and academics were seen to be working together towards the common goal of student success, was seen to be enabling of epistemological access. But it required a commitment to teaching endeavours that was in tension with the institutional focus on research. Through a social realist analysis of the two discourses constructing relationships in the tutorial system, we conclude that these discourses have the power to both constrain and enable the extent to which the tutorial system can be a site of epistemological access.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A