TLC 120 INTRO TO UNIVERSITY LEARNING Essay Example

Introduction to University Learning

Question 1

Key words linked to ‘university culture’ include; values, learning and culture

Key concepts linked to ‘university culture’ include; cultural diversity and learning strategies

Question 2

Northedge, Andrew. “Rethinking teaching in the context of diversity.” Teaching in Higher Education vol 8, no.1 (2003): 17-32.

Question 3

Key terms and concepts of the choosen reading include; Higher education, socio-cultural learning and teaching, the context of diversity, models of teaching, academic discourse.

Question 4

The thesis or key argument in Northedge (2003) is that, in order to effectively improve the learning outcomes of diverse student population in higher education institutions, educators should desist from using teaching models such as knowledge transmission and student-centered approaches. Instead, educators should employ a socio-cultural approach to learning and teaching and involve student participation in discourses of different knowledge communities (Northedge 2003:17-32).

Question 5

In order for higher education to provide relevant opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds, educators should not rely on teaching models like knowledge transmission or the vague student-centered approach. These teaching models often make it difficult for students to conceptualise discourses. Educators should realise that knowledge is best gained through students’ participation in knowledge communities. Nonetheless, the participation of students in knowledge communities may present social and intellectual challenges to new students. As a result, Northedge (2003: 31) recommends that, “students need teachers who can provide opportunities for supported participation in the relevant knowledge community.” Students require sufficient practice so that they can participate effectively as readers, listeners, speakers and writer. They also need sufficient practice so that they can build their identities as members of a knowledge community and graduate from peripheral forums to more competent and active engagements that revolve around key community issues. Northedge (2003: 31) further observes that, “Since knowledge communities always encompass a wide range of members participating at different levels, students from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience can very effectively participate alongside each other, provided that the educational programme is designed and the teaching delivered with this in view” (Northedge 2003: 31).

Question 6

“Since knowledge communities always encompass a wide range of members participating at different levels, students from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience can very effectively participate alongside each other, provided that the educational programme is designed and the teaching delivered with this in view” (Northedge 2003: 31).

Paraphrased quote

Given that knowledge communities often involve different members who participate at different levels, it is possible for students from different backgrounds or those who have different levels of experience to successfully participate together, on condition that the educational programme is exclusively designed and the teaching approach employed corresponds with the suggested model.

Question 7: Critical reflection

Critical thinking can be described as reflective and reasonable thinking that emphasises on what to believe or do.Critical thinking can be also described as a cognitive process that involves purposeful, reasonable and reflective judgment on a particular content, issue or person. This process entails reasonable consideration of context, evidence and methods of reasoning (Lipe & Beasley 2004:3). Through the process of critical thinking it is possible draw various relevant insights from Northedge’s article (2003) “Rethinking Teaching in the Context of Diversity.” A critical look at this reading, it is evident that it significantly relates to some of the class readings and topics. For instance similar to the class readings and topics, this article touches on diversity in higher education. Northedge (2003:17) notes that, in the recent decades higher education has witnessed a radical diversification of courses and student population. Moreover, similar to some class readings and topics, Northedge’s article (2003) touches on student engagement or participation as an important prerequisite for realise positive learning outcomes. For example, he notes that knowledge is gained through student participation in knowledge communities (Northedge 2003:31). However, the themes covered in this reading in many ways differ from the themes in readings and topics that we have covered in class. Firstly, this reading accentuates on model of teaching. In this reading Northedge (2003:17-31) focuses on showing that traditional teaching models such knowledge transmission and the student-centered are not effective in promoting positive learning outcomes amongst a diverse student population. Instead, Northedge (2003) illustrates that a socio-cultural approach to learning and teaching that involves student participation in discourses of different knowledge communities can play a significant role in the realisation of positive learning outcomes in a diverse student population(Northedge 2003:17-32).

The arguments put forward in this reading are to a great extent valid and plausible. The author has provided compelling evidence illustrating how student participation in knowledge communities can realise positive learning outcomes. For example, (Northedge 2003:26) observes that students participation enables them to learn the value of questioning and internalize the underlying goals of a discourse. Personally, I find these aspects to be very critical in the process of learning. In order for effective learning to take place, it is important for students to question and internalise the facts presented. Nevertheless, one of the weaknesses of this reading is that it fails to provide adequate evidence on why educators should desists from using traditional teaching models such as knowledge transmission and student-centered approaches. Although these models have certain limitations, they can prove to be effective in certain areas of learning. Therefore, Northedge’s (2003:17) assertions that educators should completely desist from using these teaching models is unjustified.

Some of the insights depicted in this reading relate to my learning experiences as a learner. In this article Northedge (2003:31) notes that student participation in different knowledge communities is an important prerequisite for realising positive learning outcomes. Personally, I find these sentiments to be true since I often learn best through active participation or engagement in learning activities. Moreover, this reading has showed that the university culture is one that is characterised with diversity. A diverse student population is a positive aspect of a university since it exposes one to new ideas and ways of thinking. In this regard, Northedge (2003:23) observes that diversity in higher education may help expose students to knowledge in other life-worlds.

References

Northedge, Andrew. “Rethinking teaching in the context of diversity.” Teaching in Higher Education vol 8, no.1 (2003): 17-32.

Lipe Saundra & Beasley Sharon. Critical Thinking in Nursing: A cognitive skills workbook. (Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2004):3