Transforming learning through student research

Transforming learning through student research Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association    The demand for higher education has grown considerably in recent decades. Over the past 20 years global higher education has grown at a rate of about 5% per year. This phenomenon, together with the emergence of open education and the diversification of higher education, has resulted in many countries now reaching universal access status.   Given the wide-ranging set of interconnected global problems – political, economic, social and ecological – facing societies today, greater importance is now placed on higher education and lifelong learning as catalysts for change to help address these problems. Thus, higher education and lifelong learning have become major factors in shaping the global knowledge society. Because of its increasingly important role in society as a knowledge producer, higher education itself has increasingly become the subject of its own research. For example, within schools...

The shifting landscape of doctoral education

The shifting landscape of doctoral education  Patrick Blessinger  St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association   The doctoral education landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. One of the most important factors driving this change is the greater participation rates in graduate education from all segments of society. As such, doctoral programmes are increasingly diverse in terms of the demographic make-up of students as well as the increasing diversity of programme and degree types. Another important factor is the changing needs of society and of the education sector. Doctoral faculty and programme leaders realise the importance of making doctoral programmes relevant to the contemporary needs of society (the public beneficiary) and to students (the private beneficiary). Thus, the modernisation of doctoral programmes has become a top priority at most universities around the world. Denise Stockley and I, together with several international educational scholars, examine these and other issues in the book,...

Brazilian Students Encounter Kindness in American Classrooms

Brazilian Students Encounter Kindness in American Classrooms Susan Codone Mercer University, USA “Buying a $300 textbook is insane! Who does that? At home we check out our textbooks from the libraries. Nobody has to pay for books. And pizza and hamburgers every day for lunch in the cafeteria? That’s crazy. At home we might have those once every few weeks. But here, in America, my professors know my name. I like that my professors know me personally and that they care about getting to know me. I can even visit them in their office. I’ve never been to a professor’s office before. My professors are kind to me.” Surprising? These are the words of three Brazilian students spending a year studying at Mercer University’s School of Engineering in Macon, Georgia. The three students, identified by their first name only as Matheus, Aline F., and Aline J., talked to me over...

How Sociable are You? How Much Does it Matter?

How Sociable are You? How Much Does it Matter? Patrick Blessinger International HETL Association Like many of my fellow educators, my academic training consisted mainly in developing cognitive abilities with scant regard to the role emotions play in the learning process. But in my role as a teacher, I have come to realize that emotions do play a large part in the learning process. This has required me to change my way of thinking about my role as a teacher in the teaching-learning process and about how I engage socially with students in and out of the classroom. Dr. William Kennedy, Director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning, provides an insightful article about the relationship between learning and emotions. In essence, he notes that our emotions, and hence our sociability, is hardwired into our brains. Hence, teaching and learning is, to some degree, not just a cognitive process...

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