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Student engagement, practice architectures and phronesis in the student transitions and experiences project

Carol Taylor (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 21 September 2012

477

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Student Transitions and Experiences (STEP) project, in which visual and creative research methodologies were used to enhance student engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The article provides an overview of three main strands within the field of student engagement practice, and explores the STEP project as an instance of the “critical‐transformative” strand. The article draws on recent theorizations by Kemmis et al. of practice architectures and ecologies of practice to propose an understanding of the STEP project as a practice “niche”.

Findings

In thinking through some implications of student engagement as a practice architecture, the article sheds analytical light on student engagement as a specific and complex form of contemporary education practice. The later part of the article focuses on a consideration of phronesis and praxis in specific instances from the STEP project. Working with concepts from Barad, the article develops a conceptualization of the STEP project as an intra‐active, entangled situated and particularistic practice of phronesis‐praxis.

Originality/value

This article aims to contribute to the development of theoretical and empirical understandings of the field of student engagement. It does so by providing insights into a recent empirical study; by developing some new theorisations of student engagement; and by a detailed exploration of specific instances of student engagement practice.

Keywords

Citation

Taylor, C. (2012), "Student engagement, practice architectures and phronesis in the student transitions and experiences project", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 109-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/17581181211273066

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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