'Sock Puppet Pedagogy: A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts

Antony Gray, Fiona Burrows

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

Abstract

For a first-year student, university can seem like a foreign country with different expectations, customs, and language. As educators we sometimes make assumptions about the kind of knowledge commencing students have, but these assumptions can be obstructive, especially for students from diverse or non-traditional backgrounds. Rather than viewing transitioning students who struggle to adapt to university life as being resistant to learning, we should see them as operating within an environment which they may need help navigating in order to succeed. Some of the barriers these students face relate to Meyer and Land’s notion of ‘threshold concepts’: knowledge that learners must grasp before their learning can progress. Just as there are threshold concepts within discipline knowledge, transitioning to university learning requires specific knowledge or skills which students may lack. At UWA we have responded to the need to translate these academic threshold concepts with a method that we playfully term “Sock-Puppet Pedagogy”. This doesn’t involve talking down to students, but finding conceptual, metaphorical and experiential common ground upon which to scaffold and reconstruct new ways of understanding. In this paper we will discuss our use of metaphors in ‘translating’ academic threshold concepts, both through a multi-sensorial approach to face-to-face teaching and through the development of the ‘30-Second Academy’ and ‘Research Bites’ series: short, shareable and visually-engaging online video resources.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 26 Nov 2015
Event12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL): Critical Intersections - University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Duration: 25 Nov 201527 Nov 2015
https://ro.uow.edu.au/aall2015/presentations/fyet/9/

Conference

Conference12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL)
CountryAustralia
CityNew South Wales
Period25/11/1527/11/15
Internet address

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Teaching
student
university
foreign countries
learning success
first-year student
learning
academy
metaphor
video
educator
lack
language
resources

Cite this

Gray, A., & Burrows, F. (2015). 'Sock Puppet Pedagogy: A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts. Paper presented at 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL), New South Wales, Australia.
Gray, Antony ; Burrows, Fiona. / 'Sock Puppet Pedagogy : A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts. Paper presented at 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL), New South Wales, Australia.
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Gray, A & Burrows, F 2015, ''Sock Puppet Pedagogy: A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts' Paper presented at 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL), New South Wales, Australia, 25/11/15 - 27/11/15, .

'Sock Puppet Pedagogy : A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts. / Gray, Antony; Burrows, Fiona.

2015. Paper presented at 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL), New South Wales, Australia.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

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Gray A, Burrows F. 'Sock Puppet Pedagogy: A creative approach to teaching academic threshold concepts. 2015. Paper presented at 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL), New South Wales, Australia.