Do we give them a fair chance? Attrition among first-year tertiary students
Whitehead, D. (2012). Do we give them a fair chance? Attrition among first-year tertiary students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 36(3), 383-402.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7106
International research suggests that government policy, institutional culture and learner characteristics influence the attrition rate of first-year tertiary education students. These variables were investigated in relation to a cohort of 21 New Zealand students who failed a core literacy paper. The research utilised questionnaires, interviews with staff and students and observations around a series of workshops designed to review the literacy course. Results align with international findings, but also differ because of site-specific institutional, and student socio-cultural factors. The workshops improved students' course content knowledge, but did not address deep-seated, literacy and culturally-based impediments that contribute to attrition. Principles of social justice and social contract theory described by Rawls (1958) and Sen (2009) are used to critique policy and pedagogical and learner characteristics. Based on this critique, the research concluded that some aspects of policy and institutional, cultural and student behaviour were unjust.
Taylor & Francis
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