The Health, Status and Future of Undergraduate Education Programmes: What do Programme Leaders Think?

DATE: December 8th, 2020
TIME: 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

The BESA-funded ‘health, status and future of undergraduate Education programmes’ project began in February 2020 with an online survey that recruited over 80 undergraduate Education Programme and Course Leaders. This was followed by in-depth interviews, conducted between July and November, with a sub-sample of 11 from that group.

Our fieldwork took place during a tumultuous and testing time: in early 2020 the widespread industrial action over pensions, pay equality, workload and casualisation was of course followed by the Coronavirus pandemic; with lockdown, the closure of University buildings and emergency remote teaching and assessment. No doubt the precarity of this period resonates through our data as Programme Leaders reflected on the state of the sector and the nature of their role whilst facing unique pressures – as such, our research gauges a range of views hewn during the collision of existing tensions with new realities.

In that context, this webinar will discuss our initial research findings centred around the main research aims: to examine how Programme Leaders view the current health and status of the discipline; to highlight the opportunities they see for the future of UG Education programmes; and to explore these challenges and opportunities within the varied landscape of UG Education provision (e.g. across HE and FE).

The themes explored in the webinar include: the relationship between undergraduate programmes and postgraduate teacher education courses; the subject’s status within differing Higher Education institutions; the tensions between academic and applied visions of the discipline; and the diversification of courses compared to the fledgling Education Studies programmes of 20 years ago. There will be opportunities during the webinar for participants to contribute to the discussion about the health, status and future of undergraduate Education programmes.

As part of this webinar we will be launching a call for chapter proposals for a book to be published in the Routledge Education Studies series. Inspired by Programme Leaders whilst working on this research project, this edited collection will introduce student readers to Education as an area of study. Rather than covering course content, the book will help students to understand the historical development and contemporary shape of the discipline; gain insight into the deliberations around pedagogy and assessment approaches they encounter; become familiar with the factors involved in course and module design; and reflexively consider the broad set of knowledge, skills and aptitudes they are developing as undergraduate Education students. The book will prompt its student readers to critically reflect on what Education Studies is and could be, and consider how the themes of the chapters relate to their own study experiences.

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