University-teachers’ strategies to enhance activity and participation of non-traditional students – Greenlandic University teachers as case

Karin Højbjerg, Anette Lykke Hindhede

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


According to Hickling-Hudson et al. (2004:6) ‘Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledges are marginalized by a view of the world through ‘imperial eyes’, a view which (re)inscribes the dominant, exclusionary Western beliefs’. Other things being equal, teachers in general are said to draw on three main interrelated and changing knowledge bases: knowledge of content, knowledge of teaching processes and knowledge of their students (Shulman, 1987; Turner-Bisset, 1999). As a dimension of pedagogic practice, the management of non-compliant classroom behavior is varied and historically shaped, subject to ideological, legislative and policy shifts over time. The relation between university teachers and students has to all times been characterized as an asymmetric relation since the teachers have the power of definition of what counts as academic standards.We have seen considerable studies on student perspectives (Stuart, et al 2012). However, a review reveals scarce knowledge about how university teachers try to compensate and include the non-traditional and first-generational students.In this paper, we pay special attention to curricular and pedagogical traditions or management strategies in postnational educational systems, where the majority of students are first-generation and at higher risk of attrition. Assuming that the academic staff (Both Greenlandic and Danish) has bodily incorporated an awareness of these circumstances since they are part of common knowledge of Greenlandic history, an ideal of emancipatory approach derives from compensating both teacher- and postcolonial dominance. The research question asked is how university teachers navigate in this context, what are their experiences and how do they manage to integrate and make students participate more actively and achieve what they consider to be academic standards?The experiences of teachers working in these contexts have rarely been reported in the literature. Our aim is to highlight the ambiguous nature of change of a particular educational system, the Greenlandic University which can be considered a representative of a neocolonial university with Western conceptions of curriculum, pedagogy, and language. In this way the Greenlandic case can be seen as an institution struggling to match western/European standards and at the same time acknowledging the non-traditional behavior.The theoretical framework is based on Bourdieus theory of practice and selective concepts. To understand how the teachers act when teaching, the notion of strategy is used referring to something that rests on a practical ‘feel for the game.’ Strategies are the result of combining practical good sense with commonly accepted practices. Symbolic power is used to understand and explain the nature of the strategies. The structures of the field arise from differentiation, which is grounded in a defining principle of what is of value. Thus, teachers have the authority and the means to assess students, and do so based on a certain set of assumptions, expectations, and values that are not always explicit. The notion of cultural capital is therefore used to understand the experiences of teachers’ strategies in higher education. (Bourdieu, 1986).
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedECER 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research? - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italien
Varighed: 4 sep. 20187 sep. 2018


KonferenceECER 2018
LokationFree University Bolzano


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