chapter  9
University Z
Pages 35

This chapter considers the accounts of two participants at University Z, Hassan Sharif and Margaret Hastings. In both cases the participants express the tension between two types of pedagogic practices, those where students authentically engage in the practices of the relevant discipline at some appropriate level, and those in which students learn sets of facts and procedures which have been reduced and recorded from the study of the past practices of others. Hassan, as a young lecturer was involved in the process of developing alternative pedagogies of resistance, to those of the vestiges of the colonial education system in post-colonial India. This system was designed to produce bureaucrats for the colonial administration system. Resistance involves engagement in authentic practices which can lead to the enhancement of student agency in the world. This gives students greater embodied personal properties to draw upon. Hassan’s experiences put him in a strong position to analyse the current situation facing pedagogy at University Z under the pressures of marketisation, where the purpose of education is once again being redefined. His past experience has given Hassan considerable powers of discernment, discrimination and reflexivity. Hassan analyses the relationship between education and citizenship and the purpose of education, as well as whom it serves. In this chapter Hassan’s story is traced by outlining morphogenetic developments both in his early experiences of innovating the way sociology was being taught on his course in Delhi and in his current experiences of developing his students’ engagement with the subject at University Z. Hassan’s deeply held pedagogic principles are revealed and discussed during the process. The central question for him is: whose interests does pedagogy serve in any society? The second part of this chapter takes up Margaret Hasting’s story. Margaret is concerned that the fast-changing nature of her discipline, zoology, means that previous pedagogical methods involving simple rote learning of facts are inadequate for her students to become effective zoologists, capable of gaining a broad understanding as well as an in-depth knowledge of chosen areas. Their involvement requires a deeper engagement with overarching themes and the practices that make up the discipline than was traditionally facilitated. Students have to follow their own interests and, in doing so, can be led to tackle increasingly complex and challenging areas of the discipline. In this way students can

understand more of what it is to be zoologists. Margaret’s pedagogic values are explored and her attempts to make changes to the way in which her subject is taught are followed over a morphogenetic spiral. The current national trend towards a research/teaching divide and the resulting pressures on pedagogy are sharply outlined in Margaret’s account. Both participants’ accounts are followed by a retroductive analysis of their contexts at University Z. This analysis was instrumental in deciding which mechanisms were chosen to focus on in Chapter 5 of this book.