University journeys: alternative entry students and their construction of a means of succeeding in an unfamiliar university culture

Lawrence, Jill (2004) University journeys: alternative entry students and their construction of a means of succeeding in an unfamiliar university culture. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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This research study takes a multi-disciplinary perspective, using critical discourse theory, transactional communication theory and cross-cultural theory to contribute insight into the experiences of alternative entry students as they strive to access and participate in higher education. The study seeks to determine how these students learn to persevere: how they construct their means of succeeding in the university culture. The methodological structure of the research comprises a collective case study design, encompassing critical ethnography, action research and reflexive approaches to guide a deeper understanding of the experiences of studying at a regional Australian university. The reflexive nature of the research facilitated the development of an original theoretical construct, the ‘deficit-discourse’ shift, which challenges higher education policy and practice, in particular, in relation to academics’ roles in making their discourses explicit and in collaborating with students to facilitate students’ perseverance and success. The research has also generated two models: the Framework for Student Engagement and Mastery and the Model for Student Success at University. The Framework re-conceptualises the university as a dynamic culture made up of a multiplicity of sub-cultures, each with its own literacy or discourse. The Framework recasts the first year experience as a journey, with students’ transition re-conceptualised as the processes of gaining familiarity with and negotiating these new literacies and discourses whereas perseverance is viewed as the processes of mastering and demonstrating them. The Model provides a three step practical strategy (incorporating reflective practice, socio-cultural practice and critical practice) for achieving this engagement: for empowering students to negotiate, master and demonstrate their mastery of the university culture’s multiple discourses. Together, the two models provide students with a means of succeeding in the new university culture.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. Transfered from ADT 29/11/2006.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Supervisors: Stewart, Julianne
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:43
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2016 01:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical discourse theory, transactional communication theory, cross-cultural theory, multiliteracy framework, ExcelL, learning, university
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development

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