Inspired by Kieran Egan ; , we assume that narratives help fix the emotions and therefore aid memory, motivation and engagement. Without introducing a dichotomy between reason and imagination, Egan argues that narratives set up a dialectical activity between the familiar and the everyday by featuring the extremes of reality and the limits of experience Egan Egan argues that although children's thinking is to a large extent concrete, it does not follow that therefore curriculum content should be presented in concrete terms.
Finally, we include the principle of aesthetic and embodied learning. Learning takes place in the space between people and between people and the material world. People use their bodies for making meaning. This means that space, time and the material environment for learning are important when teaching children and students, so the curriculum needs to include selecting and creating good quality and aesthetically pleasing materials including texts and consideration for the built environments in which learning takes place. Play-based learning for all ages.
We have argued that theories of child and childhood produce particular pedagogical practices, and agree with Dahlberg, Moss and Pence that "pedagogical work is the product of who we think the young child is". A substantial part of the subject Childhood Studies is therefore focused on play, what it is, and how a particular approach to play can make the teaching of the so-called 'basics' mathematics, literacy, life skills engaging, motivating and memorable.
The concept of play escapes clear definition. MacIntyre Latta suggests that play is not just the domain of young children, but involves ageless minds that are curious, flexible, open-minded, earnest and willing to try things out. Her notion of aesthetic play is an attractive one. Drawing on Gadamer and Dewey, she conceptualises play as a process that makes it possible to think and do otherwise and offers opportunities to change, build and make meaning - as a way of being-in-the-world, revealing "its own order to which one surrenders" and involving "total absorption" ibid:xiii; Play involves "a seeing that is multi-sensory" that prompts "prior understandings that reinforce and fold into one another, and contribute to a connected whole" ibid Adopting this notion of play, we propose a play-based curriculum - also with student teachers - that has a thinking, storied and semiotic focus.
Philosophy for Children P4C is an approach to teaching and learning created by Matthew Lipman, a North American philosophy professor at Columbia University, who was concerned because many of his students seemed unable to think for themselves or to make careful and reasoned judgements. He believed that even young children wonder about deep philosophical questions and can learn to think like philosophers, and that if philosophical enquiry were part of the school curriculum, children would become better thinkers and be better prepared to be citizens of a democracy - a radical idea when Lipman first proposed it in the s.
Lipman did not base P4C on psychologists' theories of intelligence and intellectual development, but on the value of philosophy as a human activity and a particular view of childhood. The community of enquiry pedagogy of P4C can be a powerful tool for interrupting normalised discourses about children, as it facilitates "seeing individuals before seeing children" Kennedy Some P4C practitioners and theorists in particular for example Kennedy, Kohan, Haynes and Murris use P4C as a means to work more democratically in early childhood settings and underline the fallibility of the teacher in genuinely open-ended enquiries with children.
The skill of listening without prejudice - not as though we already know and understand what is about to be said - remains a challenge, especially as young children's thinking can be so imaginative and fantastical. P4C is used in our teacher education curriculum as a topic, so student teachers learn how to do philosophical enquiries with children, but when appropriate, we also use it in the university classroom as a method for teaching the core methodology subjects. The generic pedagogical skills student teachers learn are listening, questioning, enquiring, observing, and thinking for oneself through thinking with others.
The purpose of learning these more generic skills is the overall aim of subjectification - we want our students to have the competence and confidence to make independent, situated and reasonable educational judgements. Finally, the pedagogy also makes it possible for us to work reflexively and democratically as a community of thinkers at the university, so we also use the community of enquiry pedagogy as a research instrument to evaluate our programme an ongoing participatory action research project.
Art and stories draw on people's emotions and engage with the imagination. They also require critical and reflexive thinking. Visual art, craft, physical movement, music, dance, drama, literature and the aesthetic environment are the contexts of our play-based learning, offering creative opportunities for our students to explore their inner as well as outer worlds using all their senses. For subjectification, it is essential to teach them basic creative skills and knowledge of the arts, so that they change as people and become artists. Our students need to be able to support the aesthetic construction and expression of content knowledge in thought-provoking, safe, stimulating and well-organised learning environments.
The university classroom should be an environment where people can exercise choice and have structured open-ended opportunities to explore the consequences of their words and actions through the embodied activities so characteristic of the arts. An aesthetic, embodied approach to teaching and learning called 'Reggio Emilia' was far ahead of its time and the aim of subjectification makes it possible to justify the use of its philosophy and methods in our curriculum.
Reggio Emilia is a small prosperous town in Northern Italy and the birthplace of the educational philosophy of Loris Malaguzzi, who saw education as a shared process of knowledge co-construction not transmission - a situated political and educational response to Italy's fascism during the Second World War. In collaboration with a group of women who wanted to combine work with good quality care for their young children, an early childhood theory was developed and enacted that put critical thinking and collaborative learning at the heart of building a democratic society Malaguzzi Importantly, Reggio Emilia is a grounded and situated philosophy that assumes high expectations of children, parents and members of the community, and as such cannot be imitated elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the principles of this imaginative and inclusive approach to education have had considerable influence globally notably in the US, Scandinavia and Oceania and the corporal turn has made Reggio Emilia relevant for many posthumanist, postmodern, poststructuralist and postdevelopmentalist educators and educationalists.
The idea that it could be used creatively by teachers and teacher educators in South Africa to help build democratic foundations for South African's foundation phase curriculum is an exciting prospect. We are contrained by space in this article to mention only three key ideas of Reggio Emilia. First, the idea of 'The Hundred Languages' of children refers, on one practical level, to the introduction of semiotic tools such as visual arts, physical movement, video, digital cameras and computers for meaning-making in schools.
At a symbolic level, the hundred languages are, as Carla Rinaldi puts it,. But above all it is a declaration of the equal dignity and importance of all languages, not only writing, reading and counting, which has become more and more obviously necessary for the construction of knowledge. Rinaldi Creativity exists in all languages,including mathematical and scientific languages Rinaldi This extended project work is the second aspect of Reggio that we have been inspired by in our teacher education curriculum design.
Thirdly, we have adopted the core Reggio Emilia idea of pedagogical documentation with our students with the idea that they will also do this with their learners. This kind of documentation is both content and process Dahlberg et al It is unlike 'normal,' traditionally enacted child or student observations, whereby a person is observed and assessed in terms of a set of preconceived standards. Instead, the ideal of representing 'reality-as-it-is' is abandoned and educators accept that all descriptions actively involve the observer, hence all documentation involves self-reflexivity ibid : as perceivers we inscribe our own norms and values into the process.
Documentation is a concrete, visual, and sometimes audible means to record what students say and do, for example, through note-taking, photography and film, or art constructions. At the same time, this material can be used as formative assessment in that it offers concrete opportunities for students to democratically reflect on their learning by including them. Instead of the involvement of parents and other teachers in this process, as in Reggio schools, we involve the team of lecturers who co-teach and the students' mentor teachers in the partnership schools.
In P4C and project work RE knowledge acquisition is assumed to be not linear, but organic and without an overall ordering principle that has roots, trunks and branches like a tree Rinaldi It advances more like a sailing boat trying to tack into the wind Lipman , making progress by moving from side to side. Both approaches regard children and their teachers as competent, responsible agents and active enquirers. The narrativity principle guides us in creating resources for teaching. A curriculum that takes the imagination seriously as an intricate part of the intellect should start with what is not familiar and therefore feature unusual characters for example, mermaids, humans covered in body hair, aliens ; extreme concepts for example, immortality, the size of the universe ; or obscure thought experiments.
We frame our own teaching by creating imaginative problem-solving contexts that use narrative devices see especially Egan which go beyond the teaching of one lesson and often include the various subject areas at the same time in the same integrated manner we would like our students to teach. Moreover, we make complex educational theories and ideas more accessible by using visual devices, literature and metaphors. Contemporary picture books are particularly useful as a means to explore topics such as 'theories of emotion' Murris or 'the positioning of child in texts' Murris with student teachers.
Our curriculum draws on a deep appreciation for good quality national and international children's literature, and our innovative use of picture books is only one example. The narrative, arts and thinking frameworks outlined above form the foundations of our curriculum for foundation phase teachers. The different approaches mentioned inspire us to play with ideas, to play with various symbolic languages, and to play with narrative structures in our work with students.
Above all, they make the learning of the curriculum not only more meaningful, but also more enjoyable and memorable. We started this article by asking the key question, 'What is foundational for foundation phase teacher education? We have proposed three overlapping aims of education and suggest that the aim of developing the ability to make wise educational judgements subjectification should receive greater attention in teacher education programmes.
We argue that the purpose of subjectification is connected with conceptions of child and childhood, which in turn influence how teachers mediate child and curriculum through the pedagogies they use. We have pointed out that developmentalism hides the importance of content in early childhood education, prescribes a particular approach to play, influences how we observe and listen to children, and shapes the questions we ask as educators.
Moreover, it results in low expectations of children as thinkers. In order to disrupt those social constructions of child, we have suggested the inclusion of Childhood Studies as a core subject in foundation phase teacher education. Five intricately connected principles that form the foundation for our approach to play and pedagogy were briefly explored.
We then outlined three approaches to teaching and learning that shape our own university teaching, but also model good classroom teaching. Students' bodies have to experience a thinking, storied and arts-based curriculum in order to fully appreciate the depth of embodied learning. There is no space in this paper to do justice to the centrality of the arts in our curriculum. We believe that the arts are essential for subjectification. The hand explores and represents the physical world for example line, colour, motion as well as the world of ideas.
Much of thought is non-verbal and relational, and the use of the body can assist in the development and communication of these ideas - through, for example, the use of a musical instrument, puppetry or construction - and help us as teachers to speak with our own voice. We have shown how new directions of child subjectivity suggest that the material world and all our senses should be included in learning.
We suggest that an emphasis on reasoning with children through philosophy, the normalisation of disagreement, and treating children as competent, active and responsible agents can help build robust, resilient and reasonable individuals in an embodied, relational manner. On the basis of such an conceptualisation of child and education we believe that the foundation phase student teacher will be better equipped to make wise judgements in teaching children to read, write, do mathematics and explore their world with a sense of wonder and engagement.
Bertram C. What does research say about teacher learning and teacher knowledge? Implications for professional development in South Africa. Journal of Education, Biesta GJJ. Beyond learning. Boulder, CA: Paradigm Publishers. Good education in an age of measurement: Ethics, politics, democracy. Giving teaching back to education: Responding to the disappearance of the teacher. Phenomenology and Practice, 6 2 The future of teacher education: Evidence, competence or wisdom? Research on Steiner Education, 3 1 Pragmatising the curriculum: Bringing knowledge back into the curriculum conversation, but via pragmatism.
Bloch G. The toxic mix: What's wrong with South Africa's schools and how to fix it. Cape Town: Tafelberg. Burman E. Deconstructing developmental psychology. London: Routledge. Cam P. Teaching ethics in schools: A new approach to moral education. Camberwell: Acer. Campbell E. The ethical school. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Cooper J. London: Practical Preschool Books. Introduction: Our Reggio Emilia. This position is well developed by political philosopher Benjamin R. Barber in Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, first published in and published again in According to Barber, multicultural education in public schools would promote acceptance of diversity.
Levinson argues that "multicultural education is saddled with so many different conceptions that it is inevitably self-contradictory both in theory and in practice, it cannot simultaneously achieve all of the goals it is called upon to serve" p.
Pedagogy in (E)Motion: Rethinking Spaces and Relations by Nellie J. Zambrana-Ortiz (Hardback, 2011)
Multicultural education is appropriate for everyone. According to Banks , "a major goal of multicultural education is to change teaching and learning approaches so that students of both genders and from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language groups will have equal opportunities to learn in educational institutions" p. Citizens need multicultural education in order to enter into the dialogue with fellow citizens and future citizens.
Furthermore, multicultural education should include preparation for an active, participatory citizenship. Multicultural education is a way to promote the civic good. Levinson describes four ways to do so: From learning about other cultures comes tolerance, tolerance promotes respect, respect leads to open mindedness which results in civic reasonableness and equality p. James Banks, a lifetime leader in multicultural education and a former president of both the National Council for the Social Studies and the American Educational Research Association, describes the balancing forces in  4th.
Edition, "Citizenship education must be transformed in the 21st Century because of the deepening racial, ethnic, cultural, language and religious diversity in nation-states around the world.
Rethinking Spaces and Relations
Citizens in a diverse democratic society should be able to maintain attachments to their cultural communities as well as participate effectively in the shared national culture. Unity without diversity results in cultural repression and hegemony. Diversity without unity leads to Balkanization and the fracturing of the nation-state. Diversity and unity should coexist in a delicate balance in democratic multicultural nation-states. Schools are not neutral.
The schools were established and funded to promote democracy and citizenship. A pro-democracy position is not neutral; teachers should help schools promote diversity. The myth of school neutrality comes from a poor understanding of the philosophy of positivism. Rather than neutrality, schools should plan and teach cooperation, mutual respect, the dignity of individuals and related democratic values. Schools, particularly integrated schools, provide a rich site where students can meet one another, learn to work together, and be deliberative about decision making.
In addition to democratic values, deliberative strategies and teaching decision-making provide core procedures for multicultural education. According to Levinson, three distinct groups present different conceptions of "multicultural education. In the minds of the members of these groups, multicultural education has different, and sometimes conflicting, aims within schools. Philosophers see multicultural education as a method of response to minorities within a society who advocate for their own group's rights or who advocate for special considerations for members of that group, as a means for developing a child's sense of autonomy, and as a function of the civic good.
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Educational theorists differ from philosophers in that theorists seek to restructure schools and curriculum to enact "social justice and real equality" Levinson, , p. By restructuring schools in this way, educational theorists hope that society will thus be restructured as students who received a multicultural education become contributing members of the political landscape. The third and final group, educational practitioners, holds the view that multicultural education increases the self-esteem of students from minority cultures and prepares them to become successful in the global marketplace.
Though there are overlaps in these aims, Levinson notes that one goal, cited by of all three prominent groups within the field of education, is that of "righting the historical record" p. Kincheloe and Steinberg in Changing Multiculturalism described confusion in the use of the terms "multiculturalism" and "multicultural education".
In an effort to clarify the conversation about the topic, they developed a taxonomy of the diverse ways the term was used. The authors warn their readers that they overtly advocate a critical multicultural position and that readers should take this into account as they consider their taxonomy. These categories are named based on beliefs held by the two largest schools of political thought liberalism and conservatism within American society, and they reflect the tenets of each strand of political thought. In terms of Levinson's ideas, conservative multiculturalism, liberal multiculturalism, and pluralist multiculturalism view multicultural education as an additive to existing curriculum, while left-essentialist multiculturalism and critical multiculturalism see to restructure education, and thus, society.
A teacher using Labaree's Democratic Equality, would have students who are able to feel like they belong in the classroom, which teaches students equal treatment, and gives support to multiculturalism, non-academic curriculum options, and cooperative learning Labaree , Labaree use of Democratic Equality supports a multicultural education because "in the democratic political arena, we are all considered equal according to the rule of one person, one vote , but this political equality can be undermined if the social inequality of citizens grows too great" Labaree , p.
By providing opportunities to engaged and enrich children with different cultures, abilities, and ethnicities we allow children to become more familiar with people that are different from them, hoping to allow a greater acceptance in society. By representing a variety of cultures reflected by the students in the classroom, children will feel like they have a voice or a place at school. Multicultural affairs offices and centers were established to reconcile the inconsistencies in students' experiences by creating a space on campus where students who were marginalized because of their culture could feel affirmed and connected to the institution.
In this controversial case, the decision upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation in all public establishments under the policy of "separate but equal. Even after the adopting the Thirteenth Amendment in , where slavery was officially abolished, there was still great racial tension within the United States. To help support the ideals contained within the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress adopted the Fourteenth Amendment , which provided all citizens the privileges and immunities clause , as well as the equal protection clause.
The complete assimilation of all segments of a community is necessary for it to be immune to innuendo of threat from the unfamiliar. Multicultural education stands as a shield against divisive rumors, and so The Springfield Plan was implemented during the s in Springfield, Massachusetts, by advocates for the Institute for Propaganda Analysis.
The Springfield Plan addressed racism as one of the more debilitating weaknesses of a community. It was the equal protection clause within the Fourteenth Amendment that stirred the debate of racial equality in The unanimous Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education ruled that separate schools for black and white students was, in fact unequal, thus overturning the year-old Plessy v. Ferguson decision. It was this victory that widened the path towards multicultural education and laid the course for nationwide integration, as well as a tremendous boost for the civil rights movement.
Multicultural education considers an equal opportunity for learning beyond the simple trappings of race and gender. It includes students from varying social classes , ethnic groups, sexual identities , and additional cultural characteristics. The fame of Brown v. Board of Education was to undercover all the issues on segregation that were still happening in schools. No matter how much everyone talked or used Brown v. Board of Education as a source to show a positive impact on integration, the reality was that students were still being treated unequally and separated from the rest.
It outlawed discrimination in public spaces and establishments, made it illegal for any workplace and employment discrimination, and it made integration possible for schools and other public spaces possible. With the continued support from civil rights groups coming out of their struggle, many of these students found support on a scale much larger due to the major push in education to provide equity to all students. In , the implementation of the Bilingual Education Act was prompted by limited English-speaking minorities, especially Spanish-speaking citizens who denounced the idea of assimilation into the Western way of thinking in fear of losing their personal connectedness to one's heritage and cultural ideals.
It was in their hopes that "their lives and histories be included in the curriculum of schools, colleges, and universities…multicultural educators sought to transform the Euro-centric perspective and incorporate multiple perspectives into the curriculum". The Civil Rights Movement of the s was a way to eliminate discrimination in public accommodations, housing, employment, and education. Multicultural education became a standard in university studies for new teachers, as Fullinwider states.
One of the main focuses of this study was to have students identify their own culture as important, as well as, recognize the unique differences in other cultures. Multicultural education began to represent the significance in understanding and respecting diversity in various groups as much as finding the important meaning within one's own cultural identity. The success of the Civil Rights Movement sparked an interest in the women's rights movement, along with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of Currently, "practicing educators use the term multicultural education to describe a wide variety of programs and practices related to educational equity , women, ethnic groups , language minorities , low-income groups, LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with disabilities".
There is not a single standard for each sub group as it relates to learning styles. A general example is African-American students learn more productively in a group setting because their cultural components showcase a stronger attachment to the whole, as mentioned by Fullinwider. European-Americans, as an example, could be viewed to be more independent based on their cultural ties to learning styles. During the s, educators developed a new approach to the field of multicultural education, examining schools as social systems and promoting the idea of educational equality.
Doe Supreme Court shed light on the advances in the field of multicultural education as it upheld the educational rights of illegal immigrant children. In the s, educators expanded the study of multicultural education to consider "larger societal and global dimensions of power, privilege, and economics. The numbers of minority students continue to increase in education that a multicultural approach is no longer looked at simply as educating the minority, as they will soon be the majority.
Education has had to take a deeper look as educators recognize an increasingly multicultural nation and a shrinking planet demands people who are critical thinkers able to handle the complex realities of multicultural differences. As multicultural education moves rapidly into the mainstream of the 21st century, the current focus is on moving towards an "intercultural model that advances a climate of inclusion where individual and group differences are valued.
When the civil rights movement and women's rights movement gained significant traction in support of their freedoms, multicultural education was beginning to receive similar support. Research shows that employers seek graduates who are able to innovate and work across fields of knowledge Hart Research, Moreover, at a time when knowledge is readily available, it is the relationships between, and intersection of, knowledge elements that are most important. Knowing how to use knowledge, create it, and build it to see how it all fits together and is integrated into what we already know helps us reduce redundancies and increase efficiencies.
In this way we can maximize the education we provide.
Interestingly, most employers seek employees who can innovate because they have a capacity to think beyond what already exists and to work across disciplines, moving out of their box or closed mindedness Hart Research, , , Education by integration helps students build this capacity by giving them experiences similar to the experiences they will have when they work after graduation.
Faculty model integration in their own work when they are organized within an infrastructure that naturally allows disciplines to work together organically. Asking faculty to change their mindset and now work across boundaries and disciplines is a radical paradigm shift.
But in every discipline including science many of the discoveries that are occurring emerge at the intersection of disciplines. While uncomfortable, integration lifts the boundaries and traditions that constrain our thinking. This became increasingly clear in discussions with leading faculty at PSU.
Without an integral approach in how we train students and the system in which students learn, students are not best prepared to be successful after they graduate Crow, At Plymouth State University, we have taken steps to ensure the integration between the two main organizational divisions, academic affairs and student affairs.
We are starting our fourth year as this chapter is published, and we continue to evolve our discussions and processes as we continue our transformation. Integrating our organizational practices and processes across all facets of the institution created a horizontal or flattened organizational structure. The flattening of our organization is enabling streamlined collaboration.
When we began reconceptualizing our work, we identified four developmental tools to encourage and promote integrative engagement within our seven clusters. These are large or complex problems that require more than one solution or perspective to negotiate and work to make ideas alive and relevant to students in the classroom.
While faculty will be teaching different content related to wicked problems in each section, they will also be using consistent OER material for the common content across all courses. As the program evolves, we envision students contributing to the development of the OERs for the entire program. In preparing a holistic framework for our students to learn, we are also beginning to theme the general education program around skills and experiences that could assist students with making sense out of their experiences in the program.
Looking back at the general education program here at Plymouth State, it was easy for students to use the program as a check list of courses they had to take for the sake of satisfying a list of requirements and filling holes in their schedule. By theming the general education curriculum in a way that allows students to see commonalities across disciplines and packaging of critical skills around their major, students are better able to make sense out of their general education experience and to see how it connects to their major and to the world beyond the academy.
We currently have a group of faculty fellows who will be redesigning the capstone course to be fully integrative. The capstone course will be used as a means to evaluate student learning and skills development through our new assessment methodology. This course will also be the place where students make connections between their major and their general education experience, and they will demonstrate this connection and relevancy through a portfolio component.
They are tools that facilitate engaged scholarship and invite other disciplines and individuals who want to create a multidimensional learning experience. The open lab can be on campus or off campus, and it is a locus of engagement that brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, community members, and business partners to work on projects and challenges. The labs can also be hubs for different classes to work together. Students with different skillsets can mentor one another in teams, some more theoretical, some more applied, each with different knowledge sets.
From an organizational perspective, implementing clusters on the academic side of the organization showed us how we might develop integrative communities on the administrative side of the organization. Through integrating people and processes in our daily organizational practices, we changed how we do our everyday business by enhancing communication and transparency across all organizational areas. Becoming an integrated university requires our internal culture to match the broad systemic organizational changes we are making.
Reorganizing through integration allows us to adapt these core principals into our organizational identity. Highlighting the significant areas of integration includes the following coordinates: 1 institutional messaging, 2 reorganization of academic affairs and student affairs and colocating student services and development, 3 implementation of cluster projects, and 4 a focus on curricular redesign and university reinvention.
Identifying these coordinates reveals the massive undertaking this reorganization is—this is whole system change Senge, at the grassroots level. For many years PSU identified itself as a regional comprehensive institution. We develop ideas and solutions for a connected world and produce society's global leaders within interdisciplinary integrated clusters, open labs, partnerships and through entrepreneurial, innovative, and experiential learning. Our mission to serve the larger community has not changed, but by restructuring in an integrative fashion we can enhance ways in which we serve, and we can tie in our service to our curriculum and more communities across campus.
We now express a larger purpose outside of the individual, and this has become our cultural mindset as we all recognize that we are learning and growing together. After rethinking who we are, we identified redundant and broken processes in administration across campus and in all facets of our work, and we began to make deliberate decisions in how we do what we do.
The themes for our seven integrated clusters were developed and vetted by faculty, staff, and administration. We coordinated a series of communication events designed to be transparent, informative, and invitational. We had a series of town hall meetings. I alongside other faculty wrote blogs about our changes, articles were written in magazines and academic journals, and interviews of administration and faculty provided information, a rationale, and opportunities for feedback as we continued planning how integration would look at the organizational level.
When the new mission and vision statement was codeveloped with input from across institutional constituents, a new marketing plan was established to inform the public and prospective students about our new focus reinvention and to distinguish ourselves from other institutions. We reorganized administration including retirement incentives and layoffs mostly voluntary around duplicated positions and redundancy in departments and divisions. After this, the culture started to change, and support for this new vision grew significantly outside and inside the university.
We have started working to colocate cluster disciplines that will support integrative collaboration. While there is still some resistance and ongoing creative discussion, we have already redeveloped budgets built around clusters with breakouts for programs. These programs are designed to link undergraduate and graduate programs in order to save students time and money and allow them to work on their graduate course work while still undergraduates. One major shift in this reorganization involved changing the work flow—allowing academic administrative assistants connected to their disciplines to learn ways in which they can collaborate among themselves, share and divide work load, and eliminate redundancy in their work to be more effective and efficient.
The new iteration of academic administrative duties will likely change over the next few years as administrators determine the best way to do the work that needs to be done. But, the academic administrative assistants will make the decisions about their work and how they do it. Their reorganization is based on individual agency and empowerment; it was not, nor will it be, determined for them. The team involves the director of residential life, dean of students, and director of student engagement and success to be determined. The staff members are empowered to make decisions about how best to do their work.
Globalisation and a pedagogy of (dis)location - Edwards, Richard, Usher, Robin
Instead of having one overall individual in charge of everything, the team works collaboratively toward enabling students to be successful and supported. Student affairs and enrollment management also actively collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to focus on and alleviate retention issues. Additionally, academic services, such as the registrar's office, are increasingly colocated so that students know where to go to resolve problems or get answers to their questions quickly.
Previously, these services were located across the campus, and often employees needed to overlap tasks for similar jobs in various locations. It made sense to bring all of these services together so that the individuals doing the work could find better ways to be more efficient and effective, and students could be better supported. Together, enrollment management, student affairs, and academic affairs collaborated on developing recruitment, enrollment, and retention strategies grounded within the integrated cluster vision.
In the past, before operationalizing this whole system reorganization, student retention was difficult. Combine this situation with an increased discount rate, and our challenges became amplified.
But the biggest reason for student departure was that the students felt disconnected, disengaged, and lonely. Everything we do now has in mind these reasons so that we minimize or negate feelings of disconnection. Creating a sense of community is a key benefit of clustering. Cluster Projects. We started our transformation with a strong focus on cluster projects.
One example is a cluster project called the North Country Community Development Pilot, which was designed to provide a range of concepts and ideas across disciplines to a team of highly motivated community leaders in the north country of New Hampshire. The aim of this project was to strengthen the local economic and social conditions in the community of Lancaster, New Hampshire.
The effort focused on strategic planning, marketing, and on the recent acquisition of a key building in the downtown area that could serve as an anchor to build entrepreneurial ventures, and as an incubator to attract a younger demographic to ensure the town's future economic success. PSU is also utilizing the Apex [business] Accelerator which offers local businesses a customized opportunity for growth and development.
These projects involved faculty and external partners. The number of students participating in cluster projects reached 3, with the caveat that there were some students who engaged in more than one project. We anticipate as we continue professional development in areas of teaching and cultivating partnerships in the academy, we will see these numbers grow and student experiences become more dynamic as relationships with the community grow and thrive.
This approach links the concept of internships directly to classroom learning. Curricular changes also began to happen with the work of the principal policy committees of the general education and curriculum committee. With the onset of this curricular change, the curriculum committee began its movement toward developing infrastructure support for integrated cluster learning experiences.
At the end of the Spring semester, we had implemented a variety of initiatives. The general education committee continues to experiment with theming the general education program to help students see the relevancy of general education as well as see how it relates to their majors and enhances their understanding of how general education is relevant to the real world.
By the end of academic year , faculty continued to develop the integrated general education capstone course with the intention of offering this course to the first group of students recruited under the integrated cluster vision. The capstone course is one of the other tools that we have committed to that is designed to support the integrated cluster initiative. The curriculum committee is also working on developing learning outcomes for the university so that across all areas in academic or student affairs, we might develop and use a common language and have a shared vision of what students will gain from coming to our institution.
At the request of faculty, we hired a director of general education to lead the vision of interfacing general education with the discipline majors in the spirit of integration. At the beginning of academic year starting in Fall our main organizational structure is the seven integrated clusters. We are continuing our learning journey as we revise our academic calendar, how we schedule courses, and how we continue to evolve our work flow in a way that embodies an integrative mindset.
We have seen already the resistance to change mitigated, people have become involved from all corners of the campus, and students are excited about the possibilities.