All-singing, all-dancing experiences? Interrogating the discourse of transformation in undergraduate education. 

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Research and Development in Higher Education: [Re] Valuing Higher Education Vol. 41

July, 2018, 266 pages
Published by
Dale Wache and Don Houston
ISBN
978-0-908557-96-7
Abstract 

Drawing on findings from in-depth qualitative research exploring academics’ views on tensions in undergraduate education at one English university, this paper presents evidence of a complex and somewhat confused discourse related to the concept of transformation. As a fundamental aspiration of undergraduate education, assumed underpinnings of transformative learning theory, or transformational critical pedagogies lend kudos to the term, and such educational approaches are endorsed by academics as ideal. However, research evidence points to other more instrumental interpretations of transformation situated within the marketised higher education environment, with parallels to the much-maligned ‘student experience’ discourse.
Acknowledging that individual transformations may happen outside of university, and noting increasing public concerns around the value of university studies given rising costs, what then is the nature of transformation that is promised through undergraduate education? In seeking to clarify the purpose and value of undergraduate higher education and the nature of transformations we might wish to see in graduates, it is critical that educationalists and policymakers alike acknowledge the multiple interpretations and ideological tensions implicit in using such terminology and consider more carefully the ways in which such language is used.

Keywords: transformation; higher education discourse; marketisation

All-singing, all-dancing experiences? Interrogating the discourse of transformation in undergraduate education. 

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Meth, D.