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The Minimal Link of a Thing in Common: A Framework for Academic Outreach in Widening Participation in Australia

Strategies for Fostering Inclusive Classrooms in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion

ISBN: 978-1-78756-061-1, eISBN: 978-1-78756-060-4

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 4 February 2019

Abstract

In 2012, the Department of English at the University of Sydney, Australia, established The LINK Project, a faculty-driven outreach program that builds sustainable partnerships with low socioeconomic status (SES) secondary schools across the state of New South Wales. Focused on discipline-centered engagement, LINK positions pedagogic work as a vital site for the advancement of a social inclusion agenda. However, the operative logic of such programs present a distinct set of pedagogical challenges if they are to negotiate the established scholarly frameworks that resist principles of inclusion and threaten to displace and exclude the cultural knowledges, skills, and capitals of students of low SES backgrounds.

This chapter postulates a framework for productive disciplinary engagement that generates new spaces for “relational equity” (Boaler, 2008) between post-secondary institutions and outreach high schools and within diverse tertiary classrooms. It draws on three LINK learning modules designed to foster new ways of forming attachments and enhancing achievement in outreach contexts. In doing so, it describes an approach that seeks to open higher education institutions to multiple knowledges and ways of knowing (Gale & Mills, 2013) in the pursuit of what Jacques Rancière (1987, p. 2) calls “the minimal link of a thing in common.”

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Citation

Hardie, M.J. and McKay, K. (2019), "The Minimal Link of a Thing in Common: A Framework for Academic Outreach in Widening Participation in Australia", Hoffman, J., Blessinger, P. and Makhanya, M. (Ed.) Strategies for Fostering Inclusive Classrooms in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 16), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120190000016008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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