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Re-imagining students’ becomings: new approaches to thinking and doing transition.

Gravett, Karen (2020) Re-imagining students’ becomings: new approaches to thinking and doing transition. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This thesis focuses on educational transitions and how these are understood within contemporary higher education. This area of theory and practice has developed particular significance in recent years as institutions seek to widen access to higher education, to promote retention and to foster a positive ‘student experience’. However, throughout the papers that comprise this thesis, I have sought to demonstrate the need to shift our attention away from traditional approaches to thinking and doing transition. I contend that despite the significance of transition in informing policy, research, and practice, such approaches are under-theorised, and are often underpinned by simplistic assumptions regarding how transition is understood. These normative assumptions reproduce, reiterate, and sustain a paradigmatic grand narrative of transition where the subject is often constructed as in deficit: ill-prepared for higher education and in need of support to navigate this challenging process of change. In order to move the field forward within this critical area of theory and practice, I explore how new theoretical approaches can offer us alternative lenses through which to view transition, and the wider concept of individuals’ experiences of development and change. I employ concepts of pedagogic frailty, troublesome knowledge, and I also engage with the work of poststructuralist theorists including Deleuze and Guattari, Butler, and Foucault. In addition, I also examine the potential of new methodologies to regenerate approaches to doing research into student transitions and I explore the use of concept mapping, story completion, and new analytical approaches. Together these new directions for thinking and doing transition offer a means in which to understand the diversity of students’ experiences within higher education, in a more meaningful and generative way.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Gravett, Karen
Date : 29 May 2020
Funders : N/A
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00856603
Contributors :
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 09 Jul 2020 09:48
Last Modified : 09 Jul 2020 09:49

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