ACSA Webinars
Inclusive Education

Sarah Hattam, Senior Lecturer, Education Futures, University of South Australia, SA, Australia

Recognition and Belonging in Enabling Education

Wednesday 2 March 2022 7-8pm AEDT

Sarah Hattam

As an enabling educator at a South Australian university, I have sought to understand where the students have come from prior to enrolling in the program and what we need to prepare them for at university. Enabling programs are defined as award programs of instruction that incorporate enabling subjects or modules designed to develop academic skills to facilitate the transition of students into higher level award programs (National Association of Enabling Educators in Australia, 2019).  I have come to recognise the role of enabling education in addressing and disrupting a number of pedagogical problems (problematics) in secondary schools and universities such that young people, who have previously been denied, can access and participation in higher education. (Hattam & Bilic 2019). Although embedded within the Higher Education institutions, the 'enabling' space is distinct to traditional HE due to the higher representation of students from recognised equity groups (Bennett et al., 2016: Crawford, 2015; Stokes, 2014).

Over the last decade my own professional inquiry has led me to question why students do not take a traditional pathway to university. I am interested in what occurs during their secondary years that limits or inhibits them from completing their schooling?  From anecdotal discussions with students in our enabling programs, I developed a picture that some high schools in South Australia engaged in a range of 'exclusionary' (Sibley, 1995) practices contributing to students making the decision to leave school early.  These discussions led to my formal inquiry into UniSA College students' experiences of enabling education, in comparison with their secondary schooling. In this presentation, I discuss the research findings as well as advance the concept of enabling pedagogy (Stokes 2014) by aligning it with the critical teaching approaches of Ira Shor (1992) and emotional work enacted by enabling educators in higher education as 'emotional champions' (O'Shea, 2019 ).  The students accounts are located inside the cultural geography of a school (Smyth & Hattam, 2002; 2004) and aligned with Fraser's (2003) 'Partity of Participation' that describes the feelings of misrecognition/recognition.

AITSL Standards Addressed:
4.1 Support student participation - Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.
3.6 Evaluate and improve teaching programs - Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.
3.3 Use teaching strategies - Include a range of teaching strategies.
6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning - Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learning.

Session complete. Recording available via ACSA Webinars on Demand.