Journal of Academic Perspectives
Journal of Academic Perspectives

Volume 2024 No. 1

Government U-turn: A Policyquake in Action

Dr Jo Bowser-Angermann, Associate Professor of Applied Teaching and Learning, Anglia Ruskin University


During the unique year of 2016-2017, the post-16 sector felt a policyquake because of doubt and pressure to change policy. Since 2014, students in England aged 16-19 who do not hold a GCSE grade 9-4 (or A*-C) in maths and/or English are forced to resit the exam until they reach the required benchmark standard of grade 4 (or C) in the qualification, referred to as the ‘D grade policy’. Research to date has begun to explore how the post-16 sector can re-motivate learners to continue to study maths and English, but few shine a light on how the D grade policy is a return to a discriminatory two-tier exam system through the back door.

    This research portrays the policyquake in action through an embedded case study design with the aim of exploring one local college’s experiences by examining students’ and teachers’ experiences of a compulsory maths and/or English classroom. The data collected is through a range of methods to build a rich case study.

    Vignettes are used to present an analysis of critical incidents that were observed or recorded during the data collection period of the study. It was the use of the vignettes as primary foci that allowed strong themes to emerge, including compliance, coercion, conflict, mindset, and voice. Through triangulation, the dissonance between policy and practice and its consequences on the post-16 sector are seen.

    This research argues that the effect of the D grade policy has resulted in a conflict between the policy’s intention and what individuals are experiencing in reality. This is damaging and reveals the effects of doubt and a lack of confidence in policymakers, and Ofsted, at an institutional level, creates a policyquake. Recommendations are made to ensure the policy is embedded with shared dialogue and support from educational professionals before it is implemented.

Adobe Acrobat document [473.4 KB]

Genre Analysis of the Abstracts of EAP and AAP Journal Articles: A Comparative Study with Pedagogical Implications

Laila ElSerty, The American University in Cairo


Academic writing has received the attention of many scholars across disciplines. Researchers of genre analysis, in particular, focused on academic writing at large and research articles in particular. A major constituent of any research article (RA) that received significant attention from genre analysts is the abstract (Lores, 2004). Graduate students and researchers from all disciplines submit papers to different journals, hoping for publication. The gateway for initial publication approval/acceptance is usually a well-written abstract.  Therefore, it is imperative that those researchers receive proper training on how to write a publication-worthy RA with a well-written abstract.  This leads to the purpose of this research paper, which is how the abstracts of RA submitted to journals for publication are written to identify similarities and differences and predict pedagogical implications to help research writing teachers identify and address areas of weakness. The focus of this paper is the analysis of RAs submitted to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) journals and abstracts submitted to Arabic for Academic Purposes (AAP) journals. In an attempt to compare and contrast abstract submissions in the two disciplines, a genre analysis following Hyland’s (2000) moves analysis model was deployed. Moreover, an analysis of the lexico-grammatical features of EAP and AAP abstracts was provided. Both the genre and lexico-grammatical analysis led to insightful results, especially in reference to the AAP research article abstracts. These results yielded pedagogical implications that teachers of research Methodology should consider while teaching their graduate/research writing students–especially the AAP ones–how to write RA abstracts.  

Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]

Audio-visual Feedback in Higher Education: Students’ Interaction, Engagement, and the Cognitive Dimension

Linda O. Enow, Senior Lecturer, Newman University


Feedback is highly instrumental in any form of assessment, and the crucial role feedback plays in accelerating progress is prominent. However, in Higher Education (HE) institutions, student satisfaction with feedback quality needs to correspond to this acceleration of their academic progress. This paper centres on the concept of audio-visual feedback (AVF) and adds to the emergent literature on digital-based feedback. The positioning of this paper is a rethink of audio-visual feedback processes. Digital technologies present the scope for modelling interaction and engagement with feedback by lecturers, hence addressing issues constantly raised in research about feedback literacy and student engagement, interaction, and utilisation of feedback. In doing so, this paper introduces cognitive processes involved in the interaction with feedback, that is, the tacit component, and establishes a way forward with rethinking feedback processes. Key conclusions from this paper indicate that the multimodal nature of feedback needs further research and theorising. Key findings from this paper assert effective audio-visual feedback processes improve students’ interaction and engagement with feedback in HE. Improved understanding of the cognitive dimension, particularly the tacit component, is essential in enhancing students’ experience of feedback processes. 

Adobe Acrobat document [448.8 KB]

Teaching Social Science Research and Writing in the Neocolonial and Neoliberal Context: Pedagogical Approaches for Equitable Democratic Participation and Organic Intellectual Engagement

Elizabeth Knauer, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute


This paper introduces findings from an ethnographic study of multicultural social science classrooms in a Liberal Arts College in Brooklyn, New York, where students are introduced to methods in social science research and writing. Findings from analysis of students’ narrative reflections and online discussion spaces reveal how adopting more participatory and communal approaches to teaching and learning social science research methods and writing can influence how students see themselves and others in the process of intellectual work. This shift in awareness leads to more rigorous academic work and more equitable engagement among students from diverse backgrounds. Through the development of communities of practice that employ autoethnography and reflection alongside other forms of social science research, students learn to grapple with hegemonic approaches to knowledge production and educational participation. Further, data analysis reveals how critical pedagogy, autoethnography, and learning community principles enable more equitable spaces to engage in social science research and writing that is more rigorously transparent, relevant, and accessible to students than traditional intellectual work. Through rich description of classroom interactions and analysis of written work and interviews, this paper illuminates how traditional social science research and writing methodologies, epistemological assumptions, and pedagogical practices are inter-connected and how students experience these traditions as exclusionary and alienating. These findings contribute to an understanding of the praxis of engaged pedagogy and equitable intellectual engagement in diverse scholarly spaces. The findings help educators’ understanding of approaches for dismantling neocolonial and neoliberal hegemony in social science education and higher education teaching and learning more broadly. It also offers insights into the use of online teaching and learning methods that produce more equitable and democratic engagement among students. 

Adobe Acrobat document [380.1 KB]

OECD’s Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) Does Not Include Canada

Ronald Sydney Phillips, Associate Professor, Education, Nipissing University


Canada’s constitution, i.e., Constitution Acts, 1867 and 1982, assigned education to both the federal and the provincial/territorial governments.  Despite this, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) usually describes constitutional responsibility for education in Canada as being exclusive to the thirteen provinces and territories.  This is simply not factual.  OECD documents usually state something similar to ‘constitutional responsibility for education in Canada is exclusive to the provinces and territories.’ The result is that Canada’s federal system of education of over 500 schools is ignored.  Federal schools on First Nations throughout Canada are not included in OECD’s Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA). The result is that Canada is not truly represented in OECD’s PISA assessments, as well as other assessments.  The absence of these schools, as well as incorrect statements regarding constitutional responsibilities for education, give a false impression of educational achievement in Canada. Serious questions must be asked of the OECD’s country rankings and comparisons.  This article examines the constitutional responsibilities of the federal government of Canada, as well as the impact of the misinformation on facts on Canadian education and the world community.

Adobe Acrobat document [579.6 KB]
Print | Sitemap
© Journal of Academic Perspectives