Students as change partners in the School of Literature and Languages at the University of Reading

Lucinda Becker, Joy Collier, Jane Setter


The pedagogic landscape in Higher Education has certainly witnessed change in recent years and involving students as partners in aspects of degree-programme development is part of that change. Darling-Hammond (2009) described how educational systems internationally are changing priorities to enable students to "cope with complexity, use new technologies, and work cooperatively to frame and solve novel problems" (p. 45). Zhao (2011) asserts that it is vital to engage students as partners in change, giving them an active hand in programme design, to enable students to develop into creative individuals who leave education with much more than just an academic qualification; it is an "authentic way to develop professional skills" (Giles et al., 2004, p. 681) as well as an opportunity to develop a positive and autonomous approach to lifelong learning. The case study which follows involved students' working cooperatively with each other and with staff in a school of English language and literature. Together, we redesigned a new module aimed at: developing students’ understanding of the demands of university-level study and writing; supporting them in their transition from sixth form to higher education.


student engagement; students as partners; change partners; change agents

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