Catalysing the transition into the unknown: A student advocate in chemistry education

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
ISBN
0 90 8557 55 8
Abstract 

In lectures, the presence of a senior student who is knowledgeable in subject material and willing to speak on behalf of learners can benefit both teachers and students. Potentially, this ‘student advocate’ can both strengthen the voice of students and increase the engagement by teachers in reflective practice. The student advocate’s role is to ask questions on behalf of the students, conduct student surveys concerning their learning experiences, and relay this information back to teachers, providing timely feedback on their teaching practices. Having a fellow student gather comments encourages more candid feedback than might otherwise be obtained. In addition, having a person other than the teacher obtain the feedback reduces the work required of the teacher, potentially catalysing the uptake of reflective practices. This paper explores the possibilities for student advocacy in higher education, and discusses the outcomes of an advocacy programme piloted in a first - year chemistry unit.

Keywords: student learning; student voice; reflective practices

Catalysing the transition into the unknown: A student advocate in chemistry education

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Jamie, I., Fraser, S., Haklani, C.