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Sacred and profane knowledge and the problem of identity: an exploration of the relationship between knowledge and identity in three different disciplinary fields in Higher Education

Melliss, Nick; (2019) Sacred and profane knowledge and the problem of identity: an exploration of the relationship between knowledge and identity in three different disciplinary fields in Higher Education. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

It appears that the position of knowledge in universities has undergone considerable change over the last twenty years which has led to changes for both old and new university subjects and disciplines. As the position of knowledge changes so the idea of learning, of what should be learnt, how it should be learnt and when it should be learnt, also changes. With changes to ideas about learning, so students' identities, the sense they have of themselves as learners , can also change. This dissertation looks at aspects of the relationship between knowledge and identity and discusses how this relationship can be explored through the concepts of sacred and profane knowledge. To help me look at this relationship I constructed a theoretical framework taken from the work of Durkheim, Bernstein and Rom Harrè. I describe knowledge in terms of sacred and profane categories, as well as using ideas of singular, regional and generic knowledge. I use Harrè’s concept of immanence to help me locate student identities in tutorial and seminar discourse as well as Bernstein’s idea of instructional and regulative discourse. To explore the potential of this framework, I recorded some university tutorials and seminars in contrasting disciplines: Classics, Midwifery and TESOL. With those recordings I also acquired curriculum data, course books, and course module descriptions, from the universities where the seminars and tutorials took place. Using this data allowed me to position ideas about knowledge and discourse in actual and specific classroom experiences so that I could construct a methodology for future work on knowledge and identity.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Sacred and profane knowledge and the problem of identity: an exploration of the relationship between knowledge and identity in three different disciplinary fields in Higher Education
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066993
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