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Engaging our fears: student learning at the center of our practice

Carlos Guerrero (Assistant Professor of Chicano Studies, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, California, USA.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 22 May 2007




The paper aims to make the case that attention to student learning outcomes provides a pedagogical bridge between the expectations of community college faculty and the performance of underprepared students.


Critical examination of research studies in the professional literature and examination of the work of Bob Barr and John Tagg, as well as of Paulo Freire presents a model in which students take responsibility for their learning and faculty attend to that, using clear standards of evaluation.


Studies show clear disparities between faculty expectations of community college students and these students' readiness to meet those expectations and to be active participants in their education. Faculty need to take responsibility for defining student learning outcomes and using them in embedded assessment. The work of Barr and Tagg and that of Freire are key frames in moving toward closing the gap between student preparedness and faculty expectations, because they focus on the conditions within which the students are learning. Their shared emphasis is to translate the goals in a way that creates the conditions under which students can make progress, whatever their goals.


This is a view from the front lines, where educational theory intersects with the realities at Los Angeles City College.



Guerrero, C. (2007), "Engaging our fears: student learning at the center of our practice", On the Horizon, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 99-106.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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