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The role of university student teachers in increasing Widening Participation to Classics

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Since 2011 Swansea University has run a student-led Classics Widening Participation programme with the aims of raising Higher Education (HE) aspirations of local school pupils and increasing access to the perceived elitist subject area of Classics in deprived communities of South Wales. On an annual basis, quantitative and qualitative data have been gathered through mixed-method end-of-year questionnaires, in order to explore pupils' engagement with classical subjects and student teachers, as well as pupil participation in particular pedagogical practices, such as learning about the classical world through games, and investigating Classical cultures and languages. The present article explores the context, methodology, and analysis of the past five years of data and their implications for practice development in Classics Widening Participation (WP). Quantitative and qualitative findings strongly align in demonstrating the value of student teachers as educational role models and the use of a playful teaching approach to develop constructive learning. They also highlight other, more worrying, trends such as a decreased positive response with age, and lower enjoyment of investigating classical culture than of other aspects. Some outliers and inconsistencies between data do exist which highlight trends. Data analysis therefore provides a meaningful framework which can be used to enhance Classics Widening Participation strategy and practice.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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