NIE TR208 12 Nov 2018 Paper Sessions (1.5 hours)
Understanding 21st Century Learners 16:30 - 18:00

A Study Of Support For Learners With Disabilities In The US National Park Service - Case Studies Of Yosemite National Park And The Statue Of Liberty
16:30 - 17:00

This presentation discusses a study of the US National Park Service’s support for learners with disabilities, and examines two case studies of support services at Yosemite National Park, California and the Statue of Liberty, New York. The presentation aims to contribute to the debate on cultural education for learners with disabilities, and to provide a model that can be used to design educational support at cultural heritage sites. The research was informed by two research questions:

1. How do people with disabilities develop cultural practices through learning?

2. How does the US National Park Service engage people with disabilities through education?

The methodology used for the study was grounded methodology, an adapted form of grounded theory. This methodology employs three phases of analysing data (the open, axial and selective phases), and encourages the evolution of culturally deduced theories in unique institutional settings as a cultural anthropology. The data from this study is analysed through a model of inclusive capital, which is designed to facilitate cultural inclusion of people with disabilities, such as vision or hearing loss. This model analyses cultural inclusion through the development of inclusive behaviour and habits through the following five developmental stages:

1. Connecting and bonding with a network of people.

2. Learning inclusive capital through networks.

3. Collecting information that points to or later leads to knowledge.

4. Physical or virtual access to spaces and places.

5. Physical and virtual mobility.

Analysis of the data using this model found that learners with disabilities developed cultural practices and habits that were often guided by their earliest experiences of bonding with families and close friends. Furthermore, models of practice in the two cultural heritage sites followed a largely practical, material model of providing quantifiable facilities and education for visitors with disabilities. It is concluded that although models of inclusion are evolving quickly in cultural heritage sites, more must be done to support young children in national parks. Furthermore, where possible cultural heritage sites should do more to work with families and communities to develop learning through bonding.

Moving To A Rural Area: Rethinking Of A "Legitimate" Life Career
17:00 - 17:30

This study aims to explore why young people move or return to a rural area in Japan, where there is not a good labor market, and through this analysis to consider what a “legitimate” life career in Japan. Studies on the school-to-work transition assume that people move to a city to attain better education and to get higher income.
However, recent studies have found more people tend not to move for education and to stay in their hometowns or in cities relatively close to their hometowns.


Moreover, some moved or returned to rural areas from cities or other rural areas.  In this study, I focus on those who moved or returned to a rural area, and explore why they chose to live there. I employed qualitative interviews with young people, who moved or returned to a certain rural area in Japan, to explore people’s meanings on moving to a rural area. In interviews, the participants talked about their whole life careers, their places, and why they moved or returned to the place. Through the analysis, I found that when people moved or returned to a rural area they did not necessarily like “rural” places. Rather, they emphasized the relationships with other people, not only classical friends but also friend in future, to move to a rural area. In other words, people who were moving or returning to a rural area expected to create a different way of relationships with people from urban people. In conclusion, I reconsider people’s life career thinking of the “legitimate” way of life. However, in such “legitimate way of life”, the significance of relationships with others have been ignored. I discuss the meanings of the relationships for young people in Japan.   

The Erasmus Learning Journey - A Reflective View of Experiences of Learning in Study Abroad via the Erasmus Program
17:30 - 18:00

The intent of this paper is to understand how learning from a study abroad experience can trigger deeply reflective learning and is elaborated in the following research questions: 1) What learning experiences do students have from studying abroad? 2) How does the mobility period abroad facilitate student transitions into working life and life in general? This paper draws on Jarvis’ biographical perspective on learning and some elements of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory (TLT). When we have an experience that is non-routine, we experience what Jarvis theoretically describes as ‘disjuncture’, in which there is disharmony between a person’s experiences and the current situation the person is in. How individuals react to these states of ‘disjuncture’ is at the core of the learning process.  

The empirical basis of the study includes 45 semi-structured retrospective interviews with Erasmus alumni from Stockholm University who studied abroad in 2013-2014. Thematic analysis was used to process and analyze the empirical material.
Findings indicate that the life that students establish for themselves whilst abroad is a multi-faceted and at the same time a unique experience for 21st century learners, which for many is considered to be a personal test that make students aware of their own abilities and/or testing their limits. were laden with a variety of emotionally charged statements. Five themes were identified from the data: 1) challenges such as practical-, academic-, social-, and language challenges; 2) coping with challenges; 3) gaining new insights; 4) developing competencies and identities.
The experience of studying abroad involves an educational transition in increased knowledge in academic subjects, improved language skills as well as knowledge of other countries and cultures, which are important skills and competencies for the working world. However, much of this learning is non-reflective. More notably, the transition involves unanticipated non-routine situations that can trigger highly reflective learning and can affect students’ self-concept. Jarvis’ model enabled a deeper understanding the students’ learning journeys by moving from non-reflective-, to thoughtful and reflective learning. Adding Mezirow’s critical reflection phase in TLT aided in understanding the students’ critical self- reflection phases, as they engaged in highly reflective learning.


Speakers
University of Bath
Lecturer in Education, University of Bath / Centre Research Associate, Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences, London School of Economics
Nagasaki University
Associate Professor
Stockholm University
Understanding 21st Century Learners

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