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'Student engagement' and the tyranny of participation

Gourlay, L; (2015) 'Student engagement' and the tyranny of participation. Teaching in Higher Education , 20 (4) pp. 402-411. 10.1080/13562517.2015.1020784. Green open access

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Abstract

Student engagement in higher education has tended to be discussed in mainstream discourses by invoking typologies, seeking to place students into categories and focusing on the importance of ‘participation’. I will give a critique of these ideologically loaded and normative constructs and their inherent contradictions, proposing an alternative framing drawing on sociomateriality. This framing, I will argue, allows us to explore the complexities of day-to-day practices, acknowledging the centrality of texts and meaning-making in ‘being a student’. Referring to a longitudinal multimodal journaling study, I will argue that contemporary student engagement and sites of learning are constantly emergent, contingent and restless – not only transgressing the mainstream constructs mentioned above but also raising fundamental questions about apparently ‘common-sense’ binaries such as digital/material, public/private and device/author. I will suggest implications in terms of research and understanding of the day-to-day unfolding of higher education as situated social practice.

Type: Article
Title: 'Student engagement' and the tyranny of participation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2015.1020784
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2015.1020784
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 13 March 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13562517.2015.1020784.
Keywords: student engagement, sociomateriality, Actor–Network Theory, textual practices, academic literacies
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475549
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