Interrogating the academic locale: surface appreciation, or deep analysis?

Interrogating the academic locale: surface appreciation, or deep analysis?

Sam Ellis, Glasgow Caledonian University - Download slides here

Across a range of disciplines in higher education, first-year ‘Introduction To . . .’ modules have at their root the desire for students to reach a threshold level of understanding as quickly as possible. But what sets a first-year art history course apart from, say, a series of art appreciation evening classes?

Art appreciation promotes cultural and aesthetic understanding without a potent injection of historical context. Art history, on the other hand, aspires to express a deeper and more formal understanding of artworks within a richer context; there are also essential analytical skills to be mastered.

Those of us with responsibilities for supporting the transformation of industry professionals into university teachers face similar challenges around providing a comprehensive induction into higher education. We have a variety of means at our disposal, including PGCert courses, informal CPD and mentoring.

Our approach at Glasgow Caledonian University consciously mirrors that of the most effective ‘Introduction To . . .’ humanities courses, by focusing on each individual’s locale within its institutional and sectoral context. This talk offers more detail on the parallels described, as well as a description of the locale-focused approach currently being implemented.