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    Towards a Psychosocial Pedagogy: The 'student journey', intersubjectivity, and the development of agency

    Langer, Susanne, Bunn, Geoffrey and Fellows, Nina (2018) Towards a Psychosocial Pedagogy: The 'student journey', intersubjectivity, and the development of agency. Learning and Teaching in Action, 13 (1). ISSN 1477-1241

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    Abstract

    We report preliminary results from a CELT Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research grant. Informed by psychosocial psychology and Lacanian discourse analysis, the project studied students’ transformations into autonomous and effective agents. Repeat interviews (n=15) with final year students were informed by the psychosocial themes of power, affect, intersubjectivity and agency. The analysis was guided by Lacan’s theory of the 'four discourses' (Lacan, 2007; Neil, 2013) and T. R. Johnson’s (2014) application of Lacan in a higher education context. We found that students can move backwards and forwards between discourses depending on their desires and ambitions: the Lacanian objet a. We conclude that the pervasive metaphor of the 'student journey' is an inadequate representation of the student experience. Our critique addresses the implications for learning and teaching and for the university’s mission to develop its students.

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