How do students and educators in higher education talk about learning, learning difference, and ‘intelligence’? – Dr Harriet Cameron
‘I hear voices in everything’ (Bakhtin, 1981)
During this seminar I will bring together the conclusions from a number of different research projects which explored the ideological strands or voices reproduced in conversations about learning, learning differences (like dyslexia), and ‘intelligence’. Specifically, I will talk about how students with learning differences drew upon different discourses to construct dyslexia (or specific learning difficulties) and how they positioned themselves within the higher education landscape; and I will also talk about how university lecturers talked about constructs like ‘ability’, ‘intelligence’ and what makes a ‘good’ student, whilst also positioning themselves as ‘good’ within the hierarchical higher education system. A key focus in this seminar will be upon the contradictions and confusions we produced when talking about these subjects; and how these implicitly or explicitly reproduced particular ideological positions. With the group, I will then explore some of the implications for practice.
Dr Cameron is the academic director of the tutorial service for students with specific learning difficulties at the University of Sheffield. She is an associate lecturer in Education and oversees the provision of support for University staff with learning differences. Her research is practice-led, and aims to bring together insights from critical educational psychology and from cognitive psychology to inform teaching and learning in higher education.
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