APPROACHES TO A HOLISTIC CURRICULUM IN UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Having high expectations of students, particularly students new to HE, presupposes that they are well motivated, understand the academic regime they are working within and have a positive attitude to their studies. This session takes a student-centred perspective on curriculum design & integration, induction and academic & social integration.
The poster session discusses the integration of modular schemes and the impact on students new to HE with particular reference to creative practice, but it should be of interest to any academic staff teaching on modular schemes, as well as personal tutors, year tutors and technical & demonstrator staff.
We examine the ways in which studio practice can be integrated within a holistic approach to learning: discuss the role of expert technical staff in the context of a broader programme of work and make specific reference to first year students and their transition to HE studies.
We argue against looking at any aspect of the curriculum in isolation. Instead we should look to create an experience that encourages students, particularly new students, to engage with all aspects of the curriculum and at the same time, offer them creative challenges and encourage their social and academic integration into the programme.
We draw references from a range of writers: Tinto (1975), Grossman, Hammerness and McDonald (2009), Martinez (2001) and Thomas (2002) who all promote, in subtly different ways, an emphasis on integration, group support, academic support, shared values and a community of learning. We discuss how expert technical staff can give valuable feedback without the pressure of the formal critique (Day, 2012) and how they can encourage the development of peer group support that now seems an essential aspect of success in HE (University of Leicester, 2010).
With specific reference to our own subject area, Photography, we examine how we have created a more holistic experience within a modular scheme, how we have co-ordinated the curriculum across a range of subject areas, integrated the role of personal tutors, encouraged academic and social integration among new students and how we have actively supported students at risk of withdrawing. We also discuss how a balance of new technologies and traditional methods can engender a balanced and productive approach to creative practice, examples of which can be seen on the course blog: