Presentation on theme: "Sarah Gilmore & Valerie Anderson University of Portsmouth Business School Learning-in-action or learning inaction? Anxiety and its effects on learning."— Presentation transcript:
Sarah Gilmore & Valerie Anderson University of Portsmouth Business School Learning-in-action or learning inaction? Anxiety and its effects on learning and teaching
The problematic nature of ‘new’ pedagogies within professionally accredited programmes The emotional responses of students to pedagogic change & challenges for facilitators The significance of emotions within UK Higher Education (HE) The central role of containment in the management of anxiety & the extent to which learning in action or learning inaction occurs (Vince, 2008) ◦ Implications for professional formation ◦ Implications given the UK policy context for teaching & learning modes
◦ Widening participation policies ◦ Creation of supportive learning environment ◦ Integration of workplace learning – esp within ‘applied’ areas of the curriculum ◦ Shift in curriculum policy, pedagogy & assessment – from focus on individual human agent to learning as a reflexive, collective process ◦ Requirement for tutors to balance subject, pedagogy & social competence (Brockbank & McGill, 1998; Zepke, Leach & Prebble, 2006; Christie et al., 2008; Elliott, 2011)
Year-long HRD module on professionally accredited PG programme CIPD and social closure (Gilmore & Williams, 2004; Larson, 1977) 65 students & 5 tutors over 3 seminar groups in two different locations Pedagogic change & assessment Interpretivist stance using focus groups and end of unit questionnaire
Reconceptualisation of learning needed Emotions as central to ways of knowing Previous experiences brought to class Paucity of space to express emotion Possible interpretations ◦ ‘Therapy culture’ & displacement of scholarly values (Ecclestone, 2007) ◦ Distraction from focus on structural inequalities & their stresses (Colley, 2004) ◦ Emotion & creativity for organizational purposes (Hartley, 2003)
Early to mid-point (students) ◦ Nervous enthusiasm to anxiety Early to mid-point (tutors) ◦ Nervous enthusiasm to engagement Mid-point: emotional divergence incl revolt End of module data: polarized emotions
‘We feel positive about finding out for ourselves rather than being taught’ ‘We feel that we have more important things to concentrate on than having to produce a student-led session’ ‘Whilst experiential learning may help longer- term development, that wasn’t what we wanted to achieve; we were there to learn how to pass an exam’
‘I became more dissatisfied as the semester went on...we had tried to give constructive feedback to improve the service we were receiving (and paying for)...this feedback was largely dismissed by both the module tutor and co-ordinator. They took a critical parent role and ‘blamed’ the students for the failings of the course rather than responding in an adult way and actively exploring how concerns could be addressed’.
Anxiety & sense of danger to self (Freud, 1926) Containment often at odds with demands for change (Obholzer & Roberts, 1994) Return to didactic pedagogy a phantasy of escape from anxiety (Salzberger-Wittenberg et al., 1983) Limited tolerance of frustration & ignorance – reaching out for premature ‘knowledge’ (Bion, 1984) Evidence of projective identification, holding & containment (Bion, 1959; Klein, 1946; Winnicott, 1960) Moving the unthought known to the thought known? (Bollas, 1987)
Changing landscape of expectations by tutors and students over one academic year Identity issues for students ◦ Professional; personal; customer; victim? Identify issues for tutors ◦ Autonomous; vulnerable; expert; counsellor? The contested and anxious features of learning – learning inaction as well as learning-in-action Professional formation of educators leaves them unprepared for the emotionally laden features of their role
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