Bridging the pedagogical gap between school and university: a small-scale enquiry into ‘academic preparedness’

Hamley, Katherine and MacBlain, Sean (2010) Bridging the pedagogical gap between school and university: a small-scale enquiry into ‘academic preparedness’. Critical and Reflective Practice in Education, 2. ISSN 2040-4735

Bridging the pedagogical gap between school and university a small-scale enquiry into 'academic preparedness'.pdf - Published Version

Download (701kB) | Preview


The primary aim of this small-scale research project was to investigate whether there is a need to bridge the gap between transitions from school to university in terms of supporting new entrants to university courses with academic writing. Further to this aim was a desire to focus on the increased need in the university sector to consider student retention and progression, particularly from the first to the second year of degree courses. In 2008/9 “Academic Writing Sessions” were introduced within the authors’ institution as a compulsory aspect of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree course for all first year undergraduates. It was hypothesised at the time that these sessions would influence the standard of student writing, the students’ understanding of the process and, perhaps even contribute to their overall progress through the course of their degree. Evaluation of the project resulted in a number of key findings, which supported the view that the “Academic Writing Sessions” were effective and that these needed to be developed in the future with the possibility of them being integral to each year of the course rather than just at the start of the first year. One further and important finding that emerged from the research was that assessment methods used in Higher Education do not always reflect the needs of the work place and of the students. The study also supported the view that university curricula should not be primarily skills-based but should encompass what is known as the “Academic Literacies Approach” as a means of bridging the pedagogical gap between school and university. In all, seven key themes emerged from the project, which offer strong support for views expressed within the wider literature. Since commencing the research, many improvements to practice have already occurred within the authors’ institution and continue to impact on the B.Ed. degree programme.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Pedagogy, undergraduate study, academic writing
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 12:53
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 12:53

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item