TITLE

Changing concepts of equity in transforming UK higher education: implications for future pedagogies and practices in global higher education

AUTHOR(S)
David, Miriam E.
PUB. DATE
April 2011
SOURCE
Australian Educational Researcher (Australian Association for Re;Apr2011, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p25
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper is about changing concepts of equity in UK higher education. In particular, it charts the moves from concepts about gender equality as about women's education as a key issue in twentieth century higher education to questions of men's education in the twenty-first century. These changing concepts of equity are linked to wider social and economic transformations, the expansion of higher education and the growth in the knowledge economy, or what has been called 'academic capitalism'. Feminist theorists and activists, often called second wave feminists, developed concepts of gender equality in education, including higher education in the twentieth century, and these have been incorporated into higher education and policies with the expansions of higher education, especially around notions of widening participation. Notions of widening participation in policy and practice arenas focus on equity as about social class, socio-economic disadvantage, ethnicity and race, rather than specifically on gender questions. Equity is now twinned with diversity and where gender is now invoked it is largely about young and working class men's disadvantage in relation to higher education. In this paper, I will also provide research evidence from the UK's Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) which has been the UK's biggest ever initiative in education research about equity and diversity as currently conceived in UK higher education. I will show how gender has been incorporated with diversity questions and has lost its critical and feminist edge. I conclude with addressing questions about the future of higher education policies and practices to address questions of equity and diversity, attempting to counter the systemic inequalities in current forms of UK higher education. There are opportunities for developing new, critical and feminist pedagogies. More inclusive or 'connectionist' approaches, rather than 'teaching to the test', would engage socially diverse men and women students in a range of higher education subjects and settings.
ACCESSION #
59292135

 

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