Xiao, Jiamei (2010) Identifying Barriers to and providing Support for Students’ Self-Engaged Learning: a Study of Evidence-Informed Practice in a Year 2 Childhood Studies Module. In: Research Conference: Promoting Equity in Higher Education, 27 Jan 2010 - 28 Jan 2010, Eastwood Hall Nottingham. (Unpublished)

Achieving self-engagement on the part of students is of particular relevance in the context of widening participation. But what are the conditions for self-engagement? The present paper begins by engaging the audience with some challenging questions linked to classroom scenarios. How comfortable are you to admit your own preconceptions and taken-for-granted assumptions and share critical incidents with students? What barriers prevent you from engaging students‟ reflective learning at a personal level? After exploring potential barriers to self-engagement on the part of both students and teachers, section two introduces the teaching and learning practices involved in a Year 2 BA Childhood Studies module: Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Education. Students are encouraged to participate in an inclusive learning experience that features critical thinking, reflection and small-scale investigation. A „learning together‟ approach is modelled through the tutor‟s self-engagement. In combination with developing self-awareness and building self-efficacy beliefs, these processes have proved conducive to student engagement, achievement and progression. The third section draws on evidence from students‟ reflective writing to explore issues of self-engagement and widening participation at the level of student consciousness. The final section discusses self-engagement in the light of the findings and reflects on the implications for teaching and learning.

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