What I really want from this course is…: Tailoring Learning to Meet Students’ Needs, using Pedagogies of Connection and Engagement

  • Sherilyn LennonEmail author


A problematic shift in culture has seen the focus of Western universities move from the collective pursuit of wisdom to a pre-packaging of professional knowledge and an emphasis on profits, accountability and student throughput (Connell, The good university. Paper presented at the meeting of the NTEU, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 2015). This commodification of education can manifest in classrooms as reductive pedagogies of uniformity, conformity and knowledge transmission which impact on student satisfaction, attendance and teacher/student rapport. This chapter documents my attempts at resisting these pedagogies in an undergraduate Secondary English curriculum course. I set about building rapport with students by fostering democratic spaces where all were permitted a voice in designing the learning agenda. Students were encouraged to lead discussions, suggest tutorial content/foci and emotionally “check in” with their tutor. Student feedback and increased attendance rates indicate that there is value to be had in listening authentically before the talking begins.


Pedagogies of connection Pedagogies of engagement Democratic teaching Teacher education Educational rapport Higher education pedagogies 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Educationa and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityQueenslandAustralia

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