Navigating student transition in higher education: induction, development, becoming
Gale, Trevor and Parker, Stephen 2014, Navigating student transition in higher education: induction, development, becoming. In Brook, Heather, Fergie, Dean, Maeorg, Mick and Michell, Dee (ed), Universities in transition : foregrounding social contexts of knowledge in the first year experience, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide, S. Aust., pp.13-39, doi: 10.20851/universities-transition.
Student transition into higher education (HE) has increased in importance in recent times, with the growing trend in OECD nations towards universal HE provision and the concomitant widening of participation to include previously under-represented groups. However, 'transition' as a concept has remained largely uncontested and taken for granted, particularly by practitioners but also by many researchers. Based on an analysis of recent research in the field, the chapter suggests three broad ways in which transition can be conceived and, hence, three approaches to managing and supporting student transition in HE: as (1) induction; (2) development; and (3) becoming. The third — transition as 'becoming' — offers the most theoretically sophisticated and student sympathetic account, and has the greatest potential for transforming understandings of, and practices that support, transitions in HE. It is also the least prevalent and least well-understood. Apart from being explicit about how transition is defined, this chapter argues that future research in the field needs to foreground students' lived realities and to broaden its theoretical and empirical base if students' capacities to navigate change are to be fully understood and resourced.
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