The place of group work practice within the lecture theatre: promoting self-directed learning, student reflection and orbital communication via the entwined endeavours of teaching, role play and facilitation

Gee, R. and Towers, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-9851-615X, 2016. The place of group work practice within the lecture theatre: promoting self-directed learning, student reflection and orbital communication via the entwined endeavours of teaching, role play and facilitation. Group Work, 26 (2), pp. 9-33.

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Abstract

Contemporary debates around matters of HE pedagogy must be understood within the context of a consumerist ethos of education (Love, 2013; Williams, 2013). Such a context is increasingly encouraging the 'lecturer' to facilitate the student experience whilst helping students manage their own learning. Notions of 'Student centred learning' appear laudable; however they often fail to comprehend the intricate activity of knowledge transfer, construction, assimilation and accommodation. Rhetorical notions of student centred learning therefore appear to encourage the determination of the worth of pedagogic content to the student, who as an undergraduate is, or likely to be, the 'novice'. The contemporary 'lecturer' is therefore placed in a predicament of trying to fulfil policy directives on the one hand whilst also trying to promote their discipline on the other. This paper argues that such a predicament can be addressed via a focus upon the interplay between the endeavours of teaching and facilitation (Douglas, 2000; Staddon and Standish, 2012), especially via the inclusion of groupwork with large cohorts within the lecture theatre. This paper provides insight into reflections of the 'lecturers' and 'students' engaged in such practice within a first year social policy module at a post 1992 university. The paper outlines how role play was utilised as a means of encouraging groupwork practice within the lecture theatre and how the principles of Fleming and Ward's (2013) self-directed groupwork informed the enactment of facilitation, in conjunction with 'teaching', practice. The paper argues that such practice provides a beneficial form of pedagogy as it encourages better learner reflection and engagement due to providing opportunities for students to connect and share lived experiences, via a form of orbital communication, with theory learnt. The pedagogy also provides opportunity for students to engage in and thus understand group dynamics and groupwork practices so as to be better placed to evaluate their own learning.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Group Work
Creators: Gee, R. and Towers, C.
Date: November 2016
Volume: 26
Number: 2
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Dec 2017 16:57
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2017 16:57
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32174

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