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Non-traditional students in tertiary education: inter-disciplinary collaboration in curriculum and pedagogy in community services education in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2013-05-01, 00:00 authored by Angela DaddowAngela Daddow, P Moraitis, A Carr
Education policy in Australia has accelerated its aim to increase participation of under-represented groups in tertiary education including students who are culturally and linguistically diverse and have low socio-economic status. These students generally have not had prior access to privileged academic discourse, which can further disadvantage them in their participation and progress in tertiary education. In this article, we outline a cross-discipline curriculum initiative and pedagogy that draws on critical literacy and the metaphor of discourse community to integrate language and academic skills into community services qualifications. We argue that this-supports the genuine participation of under-represented (non-traditional) students. It aspires to not only support students entry into the new academic terrain, but to enable students to adopt a critical stance to the discourses in which they are learning to participate. This we argue is crucial, when expertise is not just a way of meeting its ostensible purposes, but is also a way of exercising power. Although we report on the application of this initiative to entry level curricula (Diploma), we suggest that it has relevance and application to Bachelor levels in a range of disciplines, both in supporting pedagogy and for transition to Bachelor level study.