Understanding first year undergraduate achievement in a post-1992 university science department

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/118248
Title:
Understanding first year undergraduate achievement in a post-1992 university science department
Authors:
Luan, Yun
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to address the under-researched theme of achievement among students in a post 1992 university in the UK. The findings are based on a case study of a cohort of first year (FY) undergraduates in a science department in a post 1992 university. Three key research approaches were deployed within this case study, namely, grounded theory, phenomenography and survey research. These three distinctive approaches have been framed within a broad interpretivist perspective in which subjectivity is managed through researcher positionality and the triangulation of data where appropriate. The research findings demonstrate that the point of registration at higher education (HE) institutions does not constitute a successful student because such a constitution is a process of becoming, involving complex meaning-making processes over time. These processes are characterised by a movement from 'outsider and potential achiever' to 'insider and reflexive achiever'. Important phases within this movement are those of: attending; being engaged and solving self-identified difficulties. In the light of the evidence gathered and the review of the existing scholarship, a detailed exploration and theorisation of these phases is offered. The preoccupation with students who fail in some way has led to a lack of research into those who succeed. This research has sought to overcome this lack by exploring the active meaning-making processes that lead undergraduates to achieve. A dynamic is identified between students' reflexive management of their FY experience and aspirations to achieve and the institutional context. This dynamic is also held to undermine the notion of students as customers awaiting satisfaction, suggesting instead that students be regarded as reflexive actors in the shaping of undergraduate achievement. This study presents a novel alternative to the prevalent deficit model in the relevant research which tends to treat students as passive bearers of diverse levels of readiness for undergraduate study. It also offers an alternative to the prevailing research on why students fail to progress or stay at university.
Advisors:
Cohn, Eleanor; Cureton, Debra; Galbraith, Victoria; Galbraith, Niall
Publisher:
University of Wolverhampton
Issue Date:
Jul-2010
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/118248
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Description:
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Sponsors:
Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), University of Wolverhampton
Appears in Collections:
E-Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.advisorCohn, Eleanoren
dc.contributor.advisorCureton, Debraen
dc.contributor.advisorGalbraith, Victoriaen
dc.contributor.advisorGalbraith, Niallen
dc.contributor.authorLuan, Yunen
dc.date.accessioned2010-12-22T14:43:30Z-
dc.date.available2010-12-22T14:43:30Z-
dc.date.issued2010-07-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2436/118248-
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophyen
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to address the under-researched theme of achievement among students in a post 1992 university in the UK. The findings are based on a case study of a cohort of first year (FY) undergraduates in a science department in a post 1992 university. Three key research approaches were deployed within this case study, namely, grounded theory, phenomenography and survey research. These three distinctive approaches have been framed within a broad interpretivist perspective in which subjectivity is managed through researcher positionality and the triangulation of data where appropriate. The research findings demonstrate that the point of registration at higher education (HE) institutions does not constitute a successful student because such a constitution is a process of becoming, involving complex meaning-making processes over time. These processes are characterised by a movement from 'outsider and potential achiever' to 'insider and reflexive achiever'. Important phases within this movement are those of: attending; being engaged and solving self-identified difficulties. In the light of the evidence gathered and the review of the existing scholarship, a detailed exploration and theorisation of these phases is offered. The preoccupation with students who fail in some way has led to a lack of research into those who succeed. This research has sought to overcome this lack by exploring the active meaning-making processes that lead undergraduates to achieve. A dynamic is identified between students' reflexive management of their FY experience and aspirations to achieve and the institutional context. This dynamic is also held to undermine the notion of students as customers awaiting satisfaction, suggesting instead that students be regarded as reflexive actors in the shaping of undergraduate achievement. This study presents a novel alternative to the prevalent deficit model in the relevant research which tends to treat students as passive bearers of diverse levels of readiness for undergraduate study. It also offers an alternative to the prevailing research on why students fail to progress or stay at university.en
dc.description.sponsorshipCentre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), University of Wolverhamptonen
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Wolverhamptonen
dc.subjectFirst year undergraduate achievementen
dc.subjectStudent success in higher educationen
dc.subjectStudent involvement in higher educationen
dc.subjectExperiencing higher educationen
dc.subjectReflexive awarenessen
dc.subjectStudent identityen
dc.subjectGrounded theoryen
dc.subjectPhenomenographyen
dc.subjectInterpretive case studyen
dc.subjectStudent voicesen
dc.titleUnderstanding first year undergraduate achievement in a post-1992 university science departmenten
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhDen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
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