52 research outputs found

    Excavating widening participation policy in Australian higher education: subject positions, representational effects, emotion

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    This article uses Foucauldian discourse analysis to identify two subject positions within Australia\u27s Widening Participation higher education policy. Purpose The massification of higher education is a definitive feature of the late twentieth century. Widening Participation (WP) policy is a recent manifestation of this phenomenon in Britain and Australia. This article uses Foucauldian discourse analysis to identify two subject positions within Australian WP higher education policy, that of the cap(able) individual and the proper aspirant. The article also traces the feeling-rules associated with these subject positions to ask critical questions about neo-liberal social justice. Design/methodology/approach A Foucauldian discourse analysis was conducted on a range of policy documents relating the higher education during the period 2008-2013. Using Bacchi’s (2012) ‘what is the problem represented to be?’ (WPR) approach, two subject positions and their attendant feeling-rules are identified.    Findings The two subject positions, the cap(able) individual and the proper aspirant, represent a quintessential neo-liberal subject who possesses ‘natural’ ability, hope for social mobility and is highly individualised and entrepreneurial in disposition. As a reinvention of social justice approaches to higher education, WP has wide emotional and common sense appeal derived from its links into older discourses on social justice, meritocracy and the redemptive promise of education and childhood hope.  A new neo-liberal appropriation of social justice, WP neglects critical historical, social and contextual factors related to educational inequity

    Press Play for Learning: A Framework to Guide Serious Computer Game Use in the Classroom

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    Computer gaming is a global phenomenon and there has been rapid growth in ‘serious’ games for learning. An emergent body of evidence demonstrates how serious games can be used in primary and secondary school classrooms. Despite the popularity of serious games and their pedagogical potential, there are few specialised frameworks to guide K-12 teachers in choosing and using serious games. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we draw on recent research to provide an overview of the nature and uses of serious games, current knowledge about their learning efficacy, and the features that teachers should consider when choosing a game. Secondly, we provide a new, practical and comprehensive framework especially designed to guide teachers in making evidence-informed decisions about choosing and using serious games in their classrooms. This framework is organised according to the domains of learning, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and technical context

    The Teaching Discipline doesn’t Matter? An Assessment of Preservice Teachers’ Perception of the value of Professional Experience in attaining Teacher Competencies.

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    This paper is one in a series of papers interrogating some of the fundamental bases of what is seen as good professional experience in initial teacher education (ITE). This paper uses the case study of Health/Physical Education (HPE) students’ perceptions of their professional experience, compared to other teaching disciplines, in one regional university to examine the seemingly taken-for–granted view that professional experience in all teaching disciplines can be assessed according to generic professional standards. In this case when HPE students were surveyed on their views of their ability to satisfy the NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards during practical experience their perceptions differed from students in other disciplines. A number of reasons were posited for this including the notion that each discipline has its own particular pedagogy as suggested by Schulman (1986, 1987). Suggestions as to future research are provided

    The academic outcomes of first-in-family in an Australian university: an exploratory study.

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    Although the first-generation and first-in-family status (FIF) of university students has been of intense interest in the USA, it has received very little consideration in Australia. The present research redressed this imbalance by investigating the academic outcomes of FIF undergraduate students at a large, public, Australian university. Undergraduate students (N = 227) who were enrolled in education, nursing and liberal arts degrees completed an online survey. Data are representative of typical gender enrolment patterns for these degrees. In contrast to US research, there was no clear relationship between socioeconomic status and FIF status in this sample. Consistent with US research, FIF students had poorer academic outcomes than non-FIF students. However, this difference was only significant after the first-year of study when students were less likely to receive scaffolded learning support within courses. FIF students were more likely than non-FIF students to seek support from university services. The implications of these results for Australian universities are considered

    Shifts in space and self: Moving from community to university

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    University enrolments have grown at an unprecedented rate over the last decade and this participation is only set to increase (Kemp & Norton, 2014; Universities Australia, 2015). However, rates of completion during the same period have remained relatively static, and the numbers of students who depart university remains significant, consistently hovering between 15-18 per cent of the total Australian student population (Higher Education Standards Panel, 2018). Disproportionate numbers of these early leavers are from rural and remote areas, so exploring how regional and remote learners consider their post-schooling futures can provide some insight into the fundamental issues behind this attrition. In addressing the rates of attrition from university, a better understanding of the \u27lived experiences\u27 of learners is required (West, 1996; O\u27Shea, 2007, 2014). This research project employed a digital storytelling methodology to foreground the cognitive, affective and embodied nature of this university experience (O\u27Shea, Harwood, Kervin, & Humphry, 2013). For students from regional and remote regions the movement into higher education requires not only a geographic shift but also changes to both identity and relationships (Holt, 2008). Drawing upon a combination of interviews, focus groups and also digital storytelling, this project sought to deeply investigate two key areas. The first relates to how young people from rural and remote areas contemplate post-schooling options and the second area of exploration was the subjective experience of both considering and actually moving into the university space. Our research points to the deeply embodied nature of this shift and how young people themselves reconcile the changes and adaptations such movements require. Interviews and focus groups complemented the digital stories, which enabled participants to narrate their own experiences incorporating a range of media including oral, written and pictorial representation. This audio-visual genre is produced via accessible software and in a diversity of formats ranging from voice-over PowerPoint photos to edited videos, interview style (iMovie) to light-weight animations with voice-overs

    Characterization of an hrp-aox-polyaniline-graphite composite biosensor

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    Nowadays there is an increasing demand to develop new and robust biosensors in order to detect low concentrations of different chemicals, in practical and small devices, giving fast and confident responses. The electrode material was a polyaniline-graphite-epoxy composite (PANI/GEC). Alcohol oxidase (AOX) and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzymes were immobilized and the responses were tested by cyclic voltammetry. The conductivities for the composites of graphite/polyaniline were determined. The cyclic voltammograms allowed detecting ethanol in pure diluted samples in a range from 0.036 to 2.62 M. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermal gravimetry analysis (TGA) were used to verify the thermal characteristics of the composites (0, 10, 20, 30 and 100 % of graphite). The Imax value was determined for the dual enzyme biosensor (0.0724 mA), and the Kapp m as 1.41 M (with R2 =0.9912)

    What's in a virus? Folk understandings of hepatitis C infection and infectiousness among injecting drug users in Kings Cross, Sydney

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    BACKGROUND: To explore folk understandings of blood borne virus infection and infectiousness among injecting drug users in Kings Cross, Sydney. METHODS: Observational fieldwork was conducted in Kings Cross over a four month period. In-depth interviews with 24 current injectors and 4 key informants recruited from King Cross were undertaken. RESULTS: Hepatitis C (HCV) generated different meanings from HIV. HIV was considered "the dreaded" and generated fear of infection and dire disease progression. Whereas HCV was considered non-desirable but less threatening than HIV. The risks of transmitting HCV through sharing injecting paraphernalia was poorly understood. Some believed HCV infection was linked to poor hygiene and dirty water. Jaundice was mistakenly thought to indicate HCV infection and was used to gauge infectiousness. Many were confused about their current hepatitis C serostatus. Some participants thought they had a "dormant antibody" or that they had a "mild case" of infection. Participants were unsure what this meant for their own health or for their potential to infect others. CONCLUSION: Participants displayed confusion about transmission risks for hepatitis C, conflating blood awareness and hygiene health promotion messages. Participants' reliance on the symptom of jaundice to gauge serostatus places them at risk of transmitting and contracting HCV. Participants were confused about what a positive HCV diagnosis meant for their own health and their ability to infect others. Education is needed to debunk misconceptions about jaundice and clarify medical terms such as 'antibody' at the time of diagnosis. Further clarification of messages about injecting hygiene and blood awareness are also required

    Intention Understanding in Autism

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    When we observe a motor act (e.g. grasping a cup) done by another individual, we extract, according to how the motor act is performed and its context, two types of information: the goal (grasping) and the intention underlying it (e.g. grasping for drinking). Here we examined whether children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are able to understand these two aspects of motor acts. Two experiments were carried out. In the first, one group of high-functioning children with ASD and one of typically developing (TD) children were presented with pictures showing hand-object interactions and asked what the individual was doing and why. In half of the “why” trials the observed grip was congruent with the function of the object (“why-use” trials), in the other half it corresponded to the grip typically used to move that object (“why-place” trials). The results showed that children with ASD have no difficulties in reporting the goals of individual motor acts. In contrast they made several errors in the why task with all errors occurring in the “why-place” trials. In the second experiment the same two groups of children saw pictures showing a hand-grip congruent with the object use, but within a context suggesting either the use of the object or its placement into a container. Here children with ASD performed as TD children, correctly indicating the agent's intention. In conclusion, our data show that understanding others' intentions can occur in two ways: by relying on motor information derived from the hand-object interaction, and by using functional information derived from the object's standard use. Children with ASD have no deficit in the second type of understanding, while they have difficulties in understanding others' intentions when they have to rely exclusively on motor cues

    Decidedly visceral moments: emotion, embodiment and the social bond in ethnographic fieldwork

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    This paper is a reflexive analysis of emotion, embodiment and the social bond in ethnographic fieldwork conducted as part of a study of risk practices amongst sex workers in Australia between 2002–2005. Organised around Scheff’s concept of primary emotions – love, grief, joy and shame – the paper draws on field notes from the study to develop a hidden ethnography of the emotional border crossing that can occur during ethnographic research and how this impacts upon the researcher’s subjectivity and subsequent interpretation of the fieldwork experience. The paper contests the prevailing positivism of public health research which privileges realist accounts of research and the idea that fieldwork occurs in a linear manner