The pedagogical focus(es) of the case study and its/their rationale(s):
The case study is based on the experiences of first year students on an Early Childhood Studies undergraduate degree programme. It differs from some of the other case studies in that the degree does not lead to a professional qualification and the majority of the students are from non-traditional backgrounds. This has raised pedagogical questions relating to the widening participation agenda and both lecturers were keen to focus on:
- Understandings of professionalism in early childhood settings
- Building and maintaining positive relationships between staff and students
- Promoting student engagement within the programme
Initially the lecturers felt that academic study skills were the key to success and a potential area of focus. However, as the project progressed our discussions with students led us to the understanding that relationships and engagement needed to come first.
Implications of cycle 1 experience on learning and teaching for staff members:
- Continue to focus on building positive relationships.
- Explore new ways of creating a genuine learning community with students as they progress into the second year.
- Encourage students to focus on their learning rather than my teaching for cycle 2.
- Consider the ethical implications of building stronger relationships with the two students on this project.
Zoe and Paola’s talk on their case study and their Cycle 1 experience at C-SPACE 2017 conference: