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A critical discourse analysis of student and staff constructions of their pedagogical relationships in two UK modern universities in an era of marketisation

Garside, Diane; (2020) A critical discourse analysis of student and staff constructions of their pedagogical relationships in two UK modern universities in an era of marketisation. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study in two English post-1992 universities uses a critical discourse analysis approach to examine the construction of student-staff relationships in an era of marketisation. There is little empirical evidence about how students and staff describe their learning and teaching relationships in a marketised environment, and in a period following such significant policy reforms. This thesis addresses the question of how consumerist discourses might open or close opportunities for learning and seeks to find out if, and how, alternative discourses are being deployed. Qualitative methods were used to gather data in vocational and non-vocational subject disciplines. The research approach was based on semi-structured interviews with staff and students, observations of student-staff interactions and documentary analysis of institutional documents. Student Forum meetings were observed, and they represent important, informal and under-researched spaces where learning and teaching experiences are shared and discussed. The thesis critically analyses different representations of the student in practice and argues from a social-constructionist perspective that there are multiple constructions of the student which may be deployed concurrently. In recognising different ways to be a student this contradicts the homogenised views on which policy and practices are typically built. The study also adds to the scarce literature on the practicalities of doing discourse work and outlines a phased approach, first identifying constructions of the student and then wider discourses. In addition to the consumerist ‘satisfying the customer’ discourse, four additional discourses are identified: ‘students under pressure’; ‘exercising autonomy’; ‘trajectories of student development’; and ‘contractual obligations’. The study questions the idea of seeking one enduring discourse for the student and argues for a new framework for understanding pedagogical relationships. This takes account of the complex and competing spheres in which accounts are formed, including family and community, policy environments, academia, day-to-day learning environments and social and moral environments.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A critical discourse analysis of student and staff constructions of their pedagogical relationships in two UK modern universities in an era of marketisation
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. 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. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104304
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