Human capital theory suggests that any increase in skills translates into greater productivity of the workforce. Non-cognitive skills, in particular, play a critical role…
Human capital theory suggests that any increase in skills translates into greater productivity of the workforce. Non-cognitive skills, in particular, play a critical role in many domains in life. The aim of this study is to gain a greater understanding of one such skill, discipline. Viewing discipline as a tool for enhancing learning, personal development and increasing overall achievement, this study offers an alternative way to measure discipline in higher education.
This paper presents the results of an online survey of 537 current students and recent graduates from the United States, South Korea and China. Principal component analysis was used to test the overarching assumption that student discipline is composed of five dimensions. Multiple analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc analyses and t-tests were applied to test for country and gender-related differences between the three country groups. Cluster analysis was used to profile the respondent groups based on similarities across the samples.
The results confirm that student discipline is a construct comprising five discipline dimensions – focus, intention, responsibility, structure and time (F.I.R.S.T). In addition, the identification of low, medium and high discipline levels among the respondents provides support for the recently introduced concept of a layered “threshold of Discipline”.
A F.I.R.S.T. discipline measurement questionnaire for capturing student discipline – underpinned by a conceptual model encompassing self-determination, goal setting, self-efficacy, self-regulation and time management principles – was developed and tested. Suggestions for enhancing graduate work readiness through increasing levels of the skill of discipline are outlined.
The role of discipline in achieving higher academic and workplace performance is receiving increasing attention; however, research into student discipline has historically…
The role of discipline in achieving higher academic and workplace performance is receiving increasing attention; however, research into student discipline has historically centred on schools. The purpose of this paper is to explore how university students from multiple faculties and at different stages of academic progression understand discipline in higher education, with the aim to investigate how graduates could become more disciplined and more work ready.
This study adopted a qualitative exploratory approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with university students and analysed using thematic analysis.
The students viewed discipline as internally driven as opposed to being enforced externally, which is often the case in schools. Five main themes were identified as discipline dimensions: “focus”, “intention”, “responsibility”, “structure” and “time” (F.I.R.S.T.).
A new concept of discipline is presented, underpinned by a conceptual framework comprised of self-determination, goal-setting, self-efficacy, self-regulation and time management principles. A “Threshold Concept of Discipline”, a hierarchical four-layered concept that develops over time for every individual with the ultimate level being “Creative Discipline”, is proposed. These findings illuminate learning strategies that higher education institutions can use to further enhance learning and increase the work readiness of their graduates. Such strategies can empower students who aspire to perform at a higher level and to become true professionals.
Economics is catering to a diverse student cohort. This cohort needs to be equipped with transformative concepts that students can integrate beyond university. When a…
Economics is catering to a diverse student cohort. This cohort needs to be equipped with transformative concepts that students can integrate beyond university. When a curriculum is content-driven, threshold concepts are a useful tool in guiding curriculum re-design. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The evidence for this pedagogic need can be seen in the UK’s higher education economics curriculum framework which is formulated around the threshold concepts of economics. Through a literature review of the application of threshold concepts in economics, the researcher has systematically re-designed an entry-level economics course. This research has been applied to the course structure, the learning and teaching activities, as well as the assessments. At the end of the semester, students students were surveyed on the student experience of the curriculum design and the course activities. The course grades noted the achievement of the students’ learning outcomes.
When comparing the survey responses and the student course results to the previous semesters, there is a significant improvement in student experience as well as student learning outcomes of the course curriculum.
This research provides curriculum developers with a benchmark and the tools required to transform economics curricula.
An engaging, transformative and integrative entry-level economics course is often the only exposure most business graduates have to the economics way of thinking and practice.
This is the first comprehensive study that applies a curriculum re-design based on threshold concepts across an entry-level economics course.