Making Room for Gadamer: “Promoting Intellectual Well-being in Academic Learning”

By Trina F. Jackson, Lynette M. Ireland, Lai Kuan Lim and Helen Hooper.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Student retention, particularly first year undergraduates, is a key concern in Australian universities as it has an implication on universities’ financial health. This paper contends that the development of methodologies for communicative agendas that respect student diversity and create spaces for open-ended dialogue in the tradition of Gadamer’s proposals is a worthwhile consideration in supporting first year student retention and engagement in university study. It discusses an online induction in core academic skills (iCAS) program for about 400 first year Education undergraduates in a university in regional Australia. Given the diversity in sociocultural and academic backgrounds of the student cohort, the expertise that contributed to iCAS crossed disciplinary and traditional boundaries, and it was this collaboration that enabled the design of an empathetic, inclusive and holistic support to the development of students’ academic skills and the promotion of intellectual well-being in relation to their university endeavours. In addition, in this paper we ask how we might open spaces for more equitable communication wherein self-evaluative awareness is promoted for learners and educators equally. With the recognition that there is urgent need for the development of programs and strategies that embrace diverse learner cohorts and promote self-reliance, we look at the role of personal trust in learner-educator relationships in the development of first year university learners.

Keywords: Pedagogical Relationships, Personal Trust, Communities, Well-Being, Academic Learning

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.307-318. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 908.002KB).

Trina F. Jackson

Researcher, School of Education , School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Trina is passionate about the processes of change and transition that Tertiary Access and first semester learners undergo, especially for those learners whose habitus is situated outside of dominant cultural forces and carry with them the desire to break the cycle of negative social consequence.

Lynette M. Ireland

Lecturer, School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Lyn lectures in the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University. Her interests are predominantly in the how students engage with the academic landscape and how teachers make space for this engagement. She lectures in the Tertiary Access Course, First Year Experience, Cross Cultural Communication and Cultural Interface.

Dr. Lai Kuan Lim

Lecturer, School of Education, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Lai Kuan Lim lectures in the School of Education at James Cook University, Townsville. Her interests are primarily in promoting the intellectual development of her students; inciting and enabling them to recognise, take up, and create socially just and democratic learning environments for themselves as a community of learners, and in their chosen profession as school teachers.

Helen Hooper

Faculty Librarian, University Services Division, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia


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