Positioning further education and community colleges: Text, teachers and students as global discourse

Dennis, Carol Azumah (2014). Positioning further education and community colleges: Text, teachers and students as global discourse. Studies in the Education of Adults, 46(1) pp. 91–107.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02660830.2014.11661659

Abstract

This article explores how ideas about quality in further education and community colleges are articulated by two policy texts. Published in 2012, How Colleges Improve examines the factors that have contributed towards sustained high performance or improvement in further education colleges in the UK. The Heart of Student Success: teaching, learning and college completion, published in 2010, focuses on a similar set of concerns for community college students in the US. Both documents are analysed as enactments within an extended policy process through which the use of language separates the pedagogic encounter into two distinct activities (teaching and learning) strips it of its grounding in social, political and material relations and, through the demands of quality, ensures that a disaggregated pedagogy loses its emancipatory potential. I make use of a qualitative comparative methodology to explore how this is accomplished through three textual positionings: the positioning assumed by the documents themselves, the positioning ascribed to teachers and the positioning that defines students.

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